BRASS (Brothers and SISters) camp addresses the special needs of a patient’s siblings by hosting campers in a week-long program of activities such as campfires, canoeing, arts & crafts and sports, along with the camaraderie and peer empathy. It also provides campers with an open dialog among campers and counselors to ensure siblings going through the cancer experience are enveloped in the same type of support as their parents and their sick brothers or sisters.
BRASS Camp takes place at the beautiful Camp Maria on Breton Bay in Leonardtown, Maryland. One of only a handful of camps across the country that provides a camp experience designed specifically for siblings offers a time to escape the stresses and challenges of having a sibling with cancer, and surrounds them with those who understand exactly what they’re going through.
In addition to the camping experience, BRASS features include a chat room, where siblings can discuss informally and confidentially the challenges, fears, and concerns of having a sibling with cancer. Participation is totally voluntary. Tools are available to counselors to facilitate these chats, and a separate chat room session is offered to bereaved siblings.
Not surprisingly, most BRASS Camp volunteers are cancer siblings themselves, some of whom attended early BRASS Camps. This is driven by the camp’s strong Counselor in Training, or CIT, program. Campers aged 15 and 16 are eligible for the CIT program, which is a separate class at camp, focusing on developing teamwork and strong interpersonal skills in younger campers through role modeling.
For more information, contact Angela Ashman.