In its fourth year, Kay’s Kamp, based at St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, was able to serve 33 children who have been diagnosed with some form of cancer.


Kaylyn Elaine Warren wanted to start a camp for kids with cancer.

But before she could do this, the 18-year-old lost a year-and-a-half long battle to Leukemia.

After being placed in hospice care in 2007, Kaylyn made her mother, Laurie Warren, and her hospice nurse, Mary Ellen McKnight, promise that they would fulfill her dream.

In 2009, they made her wish come true.

In its fourth year, Kay’s Kamp, based at St. Andrew’s School in Middletown, was able to serve 33 children who have been diagnosed with some form of cancer.

Madison Saunders has been coming for three years now.

The 11-year-old was diagnosed in 2004 with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, but that hasn’t stopped her from staying active.

“It’s a lot of fun,” she said.

Saunders said she enjoys the canoeing, sports and games the most. During the school year, she also plays softball and lacrosse.

“She’s awesome at sports,” said Bob Howatt, the assistant camp director.

Kay’s Kamp lasts for one week. Campers get to stay overnight and have a typical sleep-away camp experience.

What’s different though, is that there is a full medical staff on grounds 24-7, and counselors stay with the children the entire time.

Howatt estimates that there are about 110 volunteers for the 33 kids.

“A lot of these kids won’t be able to go to a normal camp,” Warren said.

Kay’s Kamp is equipped to take children going through chemotherapy. This year, three campers are undergoing oral chemo during the activities. None are on IV chemo this year, but the staff is equipped to take care of anyone who would be, McKnight said.

This year’s theme was Blast Off into Space.

All around the St. Andrew’s campus, blow-up aliens made appearances.

They even invaded the empty beds in the nurse’s station, which is referred to as “The Zoo” since it gives a more neutral feeling, volunteer staff said.

The campers and counselors all worse lime green t-shirts, and toted around lime green, drawstring backpacks, some with alien figurines peeping out of the top.

And on Wednesday, there was an alien invasion.

“This afternoon we will have a swim in the indoor pool house and there will be an alien invasion,” Howatt said Wednesday morning. “Four people in alien costumes will come in and start a water fight.”

The invasion didn’t end there though.

After dinner, the aliens returned to the front grounds of the school for a water battle with the campers and counselors.

The mission: to claim the right to earth.

Even Dr. Louis Bartoskesky, who stayed on the grounds the entire week to help take care of the children, remained armed with a water gun.

He and the camp’s team of medical professionals screened each campers’ medical history before they came. They also obtained clearance from each child’s oncologist.

Kay’s Kamp, which is free for campers and counselors, began in 2009 with 11 campers. Children come from all over the state and even out of state to Delaware’s only oncology camp for children, Howatt said.

Campers range from five to 17 years old.