Camp INNcredible Makes Summer Fun

Summer camp activities, concerts in the park and family nights at the ball park — that’s the type of magical summer fun you provide to seriously ill children and teens staying at The Children’s Inn this summer.

“When children have to spend their summer participating in clinical trials at the NIH, you make that experience the best it can be,” says Aisha Campbell, Associate Director of Programs and Services. “For many seriously ill children, this is their only summer camp experience, filled with loads of fun and unique activities they couldn’t enjoy if it weren’t for you.”

Your support makes Camp INNcredible possible, giving children of all abilities the chance to participate in a wide variety of afternoon camp activities – a special time just for kids while parents get a couple of hours to themselves to relax and recharge.

SurfINN day at The Inn two kids outside

Amani, 14, of Kenya arrived at The Inn in late 2018 to prepare for life-saving treatment. Born with severe sickle cell anemia, Amani nearly lost his life to the disease when he suffered a devastating stroke caused by clotting of his sickle-shaped red blood cells. The life-threatening complication sent his mother on a relentless search for the only way to save her son: a bone marrow transplant. After many months of looking for options, his family learned about a clinical trial at the National Institutes of Health that accepted Amani as a participant. He underwent chemotherapy and received health donor cells from his sister, Amana, earlier this year.

Three kids have fun outside at the car show

Thanks to your support, Amani, his sister and brother enjoyed their long stay at The Inn and experienced a truly INNcredible summer. Amani’s transplant has been a success, too. While his body and immune system are still recovering from the curative procedure, he’s no longer in pain from dangerous blood clots, and he is able to run and keep up with his siblings like never before. It’s his first summer free from sickle cell disease.

“I love Camp INNcredible because I make more friends,” Amani says. “I thank The Inn for making Camp INNcredible wonderful, and I enjoyed the summer in Camp INNcredible. It was my best summer.”

Young boy playing with bubbles

 “Camp INNcredible gives all children — whether they’re in a wheelchair or on crutches, are getting cancer treatments or a bone marrow transplants — the chance to participate in this all-American summer activity,” Campbell says. “It’s magic.”

As part of Camp INNcredible, children get the chance to dance, take a zumba class, cook meals, bake, do arts and crafts, participate in improv theatre, go sailing on the Chesapeake Bay with local sailing clubs, participate in therapeutic horseback riding, make soap and other beauty products and engage in other activities that are fun and educational.

Sock puppet and young girl inside

“Camp was the highlight of our trip,” says Dean, age six, from Connecticut.  “I liked making the gingerbread house and the marshmallow snowmen,” he says, during our Christmas in July celebrations. His mom Karen added, “It was so fun that we are going to make the gingerbread houses when we get home. We always have fun when we come to The Inn”.

Since 2018, teens and young adults have the chance to participate in summer camp activities geared toward their age group through INN Squad. Activities include outings to local attractions, such as The Escape Room, restaurants, the zoo and more.

Young Adults Escape Room

Your support also brings several evening concerts by award-winning musicians to The Inn, giving children of all ages and physical abilities the chance to dance and participate in singing and music-making.

Paige holding hands with her Mom

Outings to Nationals baseball games are among Inn residents’ favorite summertime events. One highlight that marks the end of The Inn’s summer of fun is a Washington Area Toyota Dealers-sponsored trip to the Washington Nationals ball park during which one child gets the chance to throw the first pitch.

Eduardo at the Nats game 2019

This year, Edu, 10, of Houston, who is being treated at the National Cancer Institute for leukemia, did the honor of throwing the first pitch.

Thank you for giving children and families unforgettable summer experiences – experiences they will always remember thanks to YOU!