Summer Magic at Sibling Camp


the 2024 Sibling Camp Crew!


Kayla and Kat, two doctoral students of OT who helped put on this year's Sibling Camp.


Campers took to the water in canoes and later on a pontoon boat.

A Haven of Joy, Connection, and Adventure for All

Sibling Camp is one of the highlights of summer for not only the campers who attend, but also the staff, volunteers, and students who put the camp on.

At 3:00 on the appointed day the kids arrived carload by carload, returning campers excitedly greeting staff and volunteers who they knew from previous years. New campers were a little less exuberant, but within the first hour began to know their fellow campers and counselors.

 “Sibling camp provides a safe space for siblings of children with complex medical conditions to connect with others who understand their experiences,” says Kayla S, a doctoral student of occupational therapy at the University of Minnesota. Kayla was one of two OT students who are getting valuable education hours at Crescent Cove, and helped plan and participate in this year’s Sibling Camp. “Watching these kids connect with each other and with adults who know their families was inspiring.”

Katie Lindenfelser, Founder of Crescent Cove, had the opportunity to return to her foundational career by playing music with the kids for one of the camp activities. Together, they created a song:

If you need joy, here’s mine to borrow.

We bring the laughter, we bring the love.

Cause we know there’s always enough.

“It was an honor to participate in the camp,” says Kat H, the doctoral student of OT who worked alongside Kayla for this camp experience. “Everyone involved in putting on this camp had so much love, passion, and joy in their hearts — their devotion helped the siblings have a great time!”

Kids got to try their skills on an agility course provided by Ninjas United. Two of their coaches helped kids navigate a slack line, a balance course, and a warped wall. Other volunteers guided kids through an activity making beaded bracelets, an art project, and expression through dance. Campers were treated to special visitors from the American Rescue Horse Network, with Dakota and Shadow interacting with campers, nibbling carrots out of campers’ hands, being led for walks, and giving nuzzles. A therapy duck named Franklin had his own fanbase of kids who took turns taking him for a walk in a wagon.

The weather held out for water activities, with kids taking turns canoeing the lake with experienced canoers, then taking pontoons across Twin Lake to a volunteer and supporter’s private beach, where they paddle boarded, jumped on a trampoline on the water, and made sandcastles.

“Many kids left their comfort zones to try canoeing, obstacle courses, dancing, and creating a collaborative song!” says Kat. “When asked what their favorite thing about camp was, most of them replied, ‘the people.’” 

Finally, it was time for the campers to go home. “Why can’t camp be longer?” lamented one as he packed up his sleeping bag. When the parents came for pick-up, the kids burst into stories.

Hopefully, these siblings returned home feeling refreshed and rejoiced, having built a bond with other children like them and knowing people at Crescent Cove support and celebrate who they are. 

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