Camp Bluebird seeks campers, counselors
HATTIESBURG, Miss. – (February 26, 2020) For the past 30 years, cancer patients and survivors have been gathering at Camp Bluebird, a camp for adult cancer survivors across the Pine Belt.
This year's Camp Bluebird is set for April 17, 18 and 19 at Paul B. Johnson State Park outside Hattiesburg. The camp is currently taking applications for both campers and counselors. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, March 31.
The theme for this year’s camp is Peace, Love and Bluebirds and will take campers back to the 1970s. The weekend will include games and songs around the campfire, arts and crafts, recreation, devotional time, educational opportunities, guest speakers, yoga, bingo, a dance and lots of good food.
Answered Prayer, a singing group getting national acclaim and a camp favorite, will be back again this year for a Saturday concert.
There will also be time spent time reminiscing with campers and lots of laughter. First-time campers will also have the opportunity to build a bluebird house.
“Camp Bluebird is an atmosphere where there is a little piece of heaven for our campers; where they can talk to other people who have the same disease as they do,” said Joe Marcello, oncology service line administrator at the Forrest General Cancer Center. “It’s like a huge, caring support group. Our campers spend little time dwelling on their disease when attending Camp Bluebird, because they are having so much fun! Losing oneself in such a beautiful and relaxing place helps.”
The purpose of Camp Bluebird is to promote a sense of well-being among campers, teach them how to live with cancer and cancer treatments and to provide a time of rest and relaxation.
Forrest General, in partnership with the Telephone Pioneers, first sponsored Camp Bluebird in 1989. Forrest General continues to sponsor the camp today. The camp is patterned after the original Camp Bluebird established by St. Vincent’s Foundation in Birmingham, Alabama.
The name “Camp Bluebird” originated from the Pioneers’ project of preserving bluebirds by building and placing birdhouses throughout the southeast. The bluebird is known as a brilliant blue, happy songbird – the perfect thing to represent the celebration of joy, hope, and determination shared by each cancer patient.
Camp Bluebird is staffed completely by volunteers, counselors, and healthcare personnel, and Forrest General is still welcoming community volunteers to participate.
Anyone who would like to attend Camp Bluebird, be a counselor or worker, please contact Peggy Boutwell at (601) 288-1612.
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