Camp Smile-A-Mile was founded in 1985. Our mission today is to provide year round challenging, unforgettable recreational and educational experiences for young cancer patients, their families as well as young adult survivors from Alabama at no cost. Our purpose is to provide these patients, families and survivors with avenues for fellowship, to help them cope with their disease, and to prepare them for life after cancer.
With the creation of Camp Smile-A-Mile in 1985, these special children would be able to participate in a normal camping environment while remaining under medical supervision. Before Camp SAM, many children were not able to go to a sleep-over camp because they were undergoing chemotherapy. Now every child up to age eighteen who is a current or former cancer patient can go to camp through our program. Qualified medical personnel from the Hematology-Oncology department at The Children's Hospital stay at the camp during each camping session. They administer chemotherapy as well as take care of all the first aid needs of the campers.
In Camp Smile-A-Mile's twenty years of operation, our original goal and many others have been realized. Our programs have expanded to include year-round activities for juvenile cancer patients, their parents, their siblings and former childhood cancer patients. Camp SAM serves more than 400 people each year.
With the help of many caring volunteer counselors, board members and medical personnel, we have brightened the smiles of many children with cancer. We want all of our campers to go home with SMILES A MILE wide.