Largest ever Camp Simcha was a roaring success

Camp Simcha supports seriously ill children with over 50 different conditions as well as babies born very prematurely


Miri and Chaya, with their volunteers (Credit: Camp Simcha)

The largest ever Camp Simcha, a retreat that cares for seriously ill children, took place earlier this month and saw nearly 250 families head to Kenilworth for four days.

The many families, who came from London, Manchester and Gateshead, were joined by carers, Big Brother and Big Sister volunteers, and a medical team.

Children enjoyed science and space activities, boys and girls water park outings, bowling, an escape room, laser tag, arts and crafts, dinners for two for parents, and, following Shabbat, a “high energy concert”.

One father, who was attending his first Camp Simcha retreat, said afterwards: “In the past two and a half years of facing challenges, this weekend marked the first time I've cried. I rarely shed tears, regardless of the situation. However, during this Shabbat, I was overwhelmed with emotions.

He described the Camp Simcha community as “a new family”, adding: “We connected with other parents who understood us, allowing us to share our experiences. It wasn't just me; my wife returned home transformed. On Shabbat, volunteers cared for our children as if they were part of our own family, and the children opened up like never before.”

Camp Simcha volunteer Benji Shebson, who has attended many retreats said the atmosphere at this one was “incredible”.

He said: “In a new bigger location, it was amazing to host more families than ever on this special Shabbos.

“It was a privilege for me as a volunteer, to spend time with the families suffering from childhood illness and help create memories that I hope will have an impact during what is an incredibly difficult experience.”

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