SeriousFun Children's Network

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SeriousFun Children's Network
SeriousFun Children's Network Logo.jpg
Founded 1988
Founder Paul Newman
Formerly called
The Association of Hole in the Wall Camps

SeriousFun Children's Network is a global community of 30 camps and programs for seriously ill children.[1] All camps and programs offer free recreational experiences to children with serious illnesses and their family members.[2][3] The first SeriousFun camp was launched in 1988 by founder Paul Newman.

SeriousFun camps and programs serve children living with over 50+ medical conditions, including those with cancer, HIV/AIDS, Sickle-cell disease, endocrine disorders, orthopedic conditions, and severe asthma.[4] Since 1988, SeriousFun camps and programs have served over 732,306 children and their family members from over forty countries.[5]

History[edit]

Paul Newman imagined a place where kids living with serious illnesses could go to enjoy the simple joys of childhood.

  • In 1988, his dream turned into reality with the launch of the first SeriousFun camp, The Hole in the Wall Gang Camp. By 1994, two more camps had their opened doors to children and families free of charge—expanding the network to Europe.
  • In 2008, Paul's global vision was realized with the start of SeriousFun's Global Partnership Program. The program provides transformative camp experiences to children living with serious illnesses throughout Africa, Asia and the Caribbean by partnering with locally operated, internationally trusted organizations.[1]
  • In 2012, SeriousFun Children's Network unveiled its new brand name and logo (formerly known as The Association of Hole in the Wall Camps), uniting a global family of camps and programs. The title “SeriousFun” acknowledges Paul's playful humor and the real impact fun can have in the lives of children with serious medical conditions.[1]

Camps and Programs[edit]

All SeriousFun camps and programs deliver a recreational camp experience, adapted to meet medical needs and intentionally programmed to foster psychological and social development.[6] Programs include Residential Camp, Hospital and Community Outreach, Family Weekends, Sibling Camp, Bereavement Sessions, and Winter Adaptive Camp. SeriousFun camps and programs serve children living with over 50+ medical conditions. These include but are not limited to: cancer; rheumatologic, blood, endocrine, gastrointestinal, genetic, immunologic, metabolic, neurological, and vascular disorders; orthopedic, pulmonary, and skin conditions; and ventilator dependencies. All efforts are made to universally accessible and inclusive.[7]

Asia[edit]

Europe[edit]

United States of America[edit]

Global Partnership Program[edit]

The Global Partnership Program (GPP) offers camp experiences to children living with serious illnesses in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. SeriousFun Children's Network collaborates with international organizations to implement locally designed, culturally relevant programming in the countries listed below. For children who have been marginalized by their medical condition, camp serves to inspire and empower through therapeutic play and education.[8]

Africa[edit]

Asia[edit]

Caribbean[edit]

Impact[edit]

Since 1988, SeriousFun camps and programs have served 732,306 children and family members, serving 127,153 children and family members in 2015 alone.[9] The name “SeriousFun” acknowledges Paul Newman's playful humor — and also that taking fun seriously matters. According to a 2014-2015 Outcomes Evaluation conducted by Yale's Child Study Center, 79% of camper parents reported an increase in their child's confidence, 74% reported an increase in their child's independence, and 80% reported greater openness in their child's willingness to try new things after camp.[10] According to the Global Partnership Program Camp Outcomes Evaluation conducted by San Diego State University in 2013, there was 58% improvement in campers taking their ART (antiretroviral therapy) medicines in Ethiopia, India and Vietnam after attending camp.

Structure[edit]

SeriousFun Children's Network is a registered nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in the United States. Within its global network are 16 are Full Member camps which are independently managed and financed nonprofit 501(c)(3) organizations. SeriousFun camps and programs are located in the United States, Europe and Israel, as well as in Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. A Support Center, with offices in Westport, CT, provides technical expertise and professional development to support member camp sustainability. Further, Support Center staff facilitate the delivery of camp programs to thousands of children around the world through the Global Partnership Program. The Support Center also assists regional, national and transnational donors interested in providing financial support to multiple camps.[11][not in citation given]

Partnerships[edit]

  • On February 17, 2015 the Ben & Jerry's co-founders appeared on Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and unveiled a new flavor of ice cream, The Tonight Dough. All proceeds of the ice cream flavor support SeriousFun Children's Network.[12]
  • On February 9, 2016 Shire plc marked its 30th anniversary with its Future Generation program and a three-year, $3 million commitment to SeriousFun Children's Network. Shire's support will enable close to 1,000 children living with rare illnesses to attend SeriousFun camps.[13]
  • In April 2016, the retailer giant Abercrombie & Fitch Co. announced its five-year, $15 million commitment to SeriousFun Children's Network. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. employees have already dedicated over 7,000 hours at Flying Horse Farms, a SeriousFun camp in Ohio, over the past five years.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Where kids are not defined by their illnesses.". www.seriousfunnetwork.org. Retrieved 2017-02-07.  Official website
  2. ^ "Camp says it's unaffected by health of founder, Paul Newman". Newsday.com. 2008-06-14. Archived from the original on 2008-07-02. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  3. ^ "Where kids are not defined by their illnesses.". www.seriousfunnetwork.org. Retrieved 2016-12-28.  Official website
  4. ^ "Our Camps & Programs".  Official website
  5. ^ "Serious Results from SeriousFun".  Official website
  6. ^ "SeriousFun Children's Network". LinkedIn. 2017-02-13. 
  7. ^ "Where kids are not defined by their illnesses.". www.seriousfunnetwork.org. Retrieved 2017-02-07.  Official website
  8. ^ "Our Camps & Programs". www.seriousfunnetwork.org. Retrieved 2016-12-28.  Official website
  9. ^ "Where kids are not defined by their illnesses.". www.seriousfunnetwork.org. Retrieved 2017-02-07.  Official website
  10. ^ Shauna L. Tominey, PhD Robert Pietrzak, PhD, MPH Steven Southwick, MD Linda C. Mayes, MD. "More Than Just SeriousFun: The Impact of Camp on Resilience for Campers with Serious Illness 2014-2015 Report". SeriousFun Children's Network. Retrieved 2017-02-07.  Official website
  11. ^ "LinkedIn: Log In or Sign Up". www.linkedin.com. Retrieved 2017-02-07. 
  12. ^ "Ben & Jerry's launches the Tonight Dough ice cream inspired by Jimmy Fallon". Retrieved 19 Feb 2015. 
  13. ^ plc, Shire. "Shire Marks 30th Anniversary with Innovative Global Program to Benefit Children with Rare Diseases". www.prnewswire.com (Press release). Retrieved 2017-02-07. 
  14. ^ "Abercrombie & Fitch to support SeriousFun Children's Network with US $ 15 million | Sustainability News USA". Apparel Resources. 2016-04-15. Retrieved 2017-02-07.