For 16 years, children who have undergone a live-saving organ transplant (and their siblings) spend the week out in Blue Bell, Pennsylvania at Mermaid County Day Camp, as part of Camp Jeremy. For one week a year, these recipients get to spend their days swimming, playing sports, and doing arts and crafts with other kids who have gone through the experience of organ transplantation.
Camp Jeremy was inspired by Jeremy Clemmons, and heart transplant recipient who worked as a counselor at Mermaid County Day Camp. His family honors Jeremy’s memory by having transplant recipients spend a fun-filled week at the camp.
For many of the campers, Camp Jeremy has become a tradition, having been part of the camp for years. Among these campers is Onyi Kenine, who just spent her tenth year at camp. When asked what made Camp Jeremy special for her, Onyi replied:
“What I like about camp is that everyone’s really friendly. We’ve all have gone through or know what it’s like to go through the same experiences, so it’s like an extended family and its fun to see everyone from all the past years together.”
The campers favorite activities included swimming, archery and gaga, which is a form of dodgeball that involves striking, running, and jumping, with the objective of being the last person standing.
For these children, Camp Jeremy is more than just a week spent playing in the sun; it’s a chance for them to bond with fellow recipients who are just like them!