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Organization History

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Camp Hobé held its first camp program in the summer of 1985, as a function of the local American Cancer Society and Primary Children’s Hospital. Rachel Hunt, CCLS, served as camp director from 1988 until 1994. Christina Beckwith, PharmD, began as a camp volunteer in 1989 and became the camp director in 1995. When Camp Hobé incorporated as a separate 501c3 nonprofit in 2003, Christina assumed the role of the executive director for the organization.

Camp Hobé was held at the Camp Red Cliffs site near Huntsville, Utah through 1994. Since 1995, the summer camp program has been held at Camp Wapiti in Settlement Canyon near Tooele, Utah. The Utah Elks organization owns and manages the Camp Wapiti site for Camp Hobé and other local health camps, working closely with our staff to continually improve the site.

The first summer camp program was held in 1985 with only fifteen campers in a single session. At present, there are three in-person summer camp sessions and one virtual camp session serving almost 300 kids each summer. The sessions include: Kids Week – a 5-day in-person overnight camp for children aged 7-11 years; Teen Week – a 5-day in-person overnight camp for teens aged 12-19 years; Day Camp / Hobé Juniors – 2-day in-person camp for children aged 4-6 years (only the 6 & 7-year olds stay overnight); and Virtual Camp – a multiple-day online session children aged 6-19 years. Our  summer camp programs serve children and teens aged 4-19 years. Our Virtual Camp began in summer 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and has been continued as a way to reach children who are more severely ill or who live in remote locations. Our family outing program begin in late 2017, providing fun activities for the whole family throughout the year. We currently offer several free family outings each year, serving our families at events such as hockey matches, basketball games, carnival events, and movie premieres. Our virtual camp programs began in 2020, as part of our response to the global coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Our programs serve kids and teens with cancer (or similarly-treated illnesses) and their families. The patient must currently be treated with immunosuppressive therapy (chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunosuppressives) or be within three (3) camp seasons of their final immunosuppressive treatment. Camp Hobé serves children and families from within the referral area for Primary Children's Hospital, which includes Utah, Wyoming, Nevada, Montana, Idaho, and some parts of Colorado.

Camp Hobé is administered and run by several part-time staff members (2 year-round staff, 8 seasonal staff). Our staff works with almost 200 volunteers during camp and in the off-season. In 1986, Camp Hobé was awarded accreditation by the American Camp Association, the standard in camp program excellence and safety. In 2011, Camp Hobé was designated as a Gold Ribbon camp by the Children’s Oncology Camp Association, for meeting additional standards of excellence for children's oncology programs. Camp Hobé has maintained both designations continually ever since. Each year, staff members and key volunteers attend the Children’s Oncology Camp Association conference and other trainings where they receive additional training in programming, recreational techniques, and risk management for these very special campers and their families.

What's next? Check out our Strategic Plan to find out more about our vision for the future.