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Published on Feb 17, 2014
Camp Michitanki (Michigan Transplant Kids) is a summer camp created by the University of Michigan Transplant Center in 2003 to provide an exciting camping experience for children 7-15 years of age who have had an organ transplant. Campers spend six days each summer participating in a variety of activities and have the opportunity to develop life skills in a fun residential camp setting.
Transplant nurses, physicians, social workers and other community volunteers work with YMCA staff to provide a "normal" and medically supervised camping experience. Children are divided by age and gender and assigned into cabin groups for the week. Camp Michitanki is located at a YMCA camp in Michigan.
Camp Michitanki expenses are approximately $65,000 each year, allowing us to take 80 kids to camp. Camp Michitanki is funded entirely by donations and proceeds from fundraising events. Everyone is welcome to participate in supporting camp. The camp rental is the biggest expense since the staff is all volunteer. Campers pay a $50 registration fee if they can afford it. Many can't even do that but we have never turned a camper away.
We believe that every child who has had an organ transplant should be able to have a camping experience. Children who have been very sick and have survived because they received a heart, lung, liver, small bowel or kidney transplant have obstacles that are different than those of other kids. We believe that transplant recipient kids should be exposed to an environment that allows participation in every activity, fosters relationships with kids who have overcome similar medical hurdles, and encourages personal growth through supervised physical and social challenges.