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Western PA Kidney Kamp 2018 “The Happiest Place on Earth



From July 29, 2018 –  August 3, 2018, 19 of the greatest kids around, who just so happen to have kidney disease, could be found at Ligonier Methodist Camp Ground in Ligonier, Pennsylvania, better known as the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

Camping  is all about getting to do fun things and our campers had plenty of activities to conquer. Their first event began on Sunday with a simple meet and greet that included swimming.  Monday found the campers engaging in trust games, a ropes course, horseback riding, a hayride and roasting s’mores. Tuesday had them flying through the air like super heroes on the zip line then enjoying an evening talent show. And, if that was not exciting enough, the Western PA National Kidney Foundation sponsored a carnival to round out the evening. The campers enjoyed an amazing night made possible by the Western PA National Kidney Foundation and volunteers from DCI Hempfield and DCI Mt. Pleasant. Wednesday was all about Idlewild Park with exciting rides and challenges for campers and counselors. Thursday, our last day of camp, sped by at the lake with jet skiing, tubing, and laser tag before heading back to camp and preparing for the evening dance with Juke Box Johnny.


Camp graduates Alexis Waltz and Gabriel Reddrick.

At the end of the dance, two camp graduates were honored: Alexis Waltz and Gabriel Reddrick.

As we reflect back on the 2018 PA Kidney Kamp, we recall the “Happiest Place on Earth,” and remember a few key lessons:

  • All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them
  • The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing
  • It’s kind of fun to do the impossible

The life lessons shared at camp were made possible by the wonderful volunteers and organizations who gave of their time and energy.  Mary Jo Grosso (pictured with the kids on the right) is a nephrology nurse and the winner of the 2018 Special Friends of Kamp Award. Our second Special Friends Award was presented to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh for the support they provide in recommending kids to the camp and providing support to ensure safe care during the week.


We warmly thank our sponsors: DCI Hempfield, DCI Monroeville, ANNA – Three Rivers, Pittsburgh Division, BK Electric, Presidential Cleaning, KJ Construction, and CNSW of Western PA. Many individuals volunteer at PA Kidney Kamp, year after year. They are our “regulars.” We are so thankful that our kids can count on you. There wouldn’t be a camp without you.

We look forward to seeing our campers and volunteers next year.

Submitted by: Glenda Barnett-Streicher Western PA Kidney Kamp Nurse