Breaking Borders is a Camp Quality program that hopes to equip young adult cancer survivors with important life skills that will aid in the transition in to the worlds of work and higher education through a challenging, group-directed outdoor adventure experience. Pushing participants out of their comfort zone, we hope they will find support amongst their fellow peers to persevere, gain self-confidence, and learn that growth occurs when we reach outside ourselves and break down borders.
Who this program is for
- Young adults aged 19 – 25 years old who had a cancer diagnosis
- Live in British Columbia
- Ready to commit to attending 7 or the 8 monthly virtual sessions and weeklong trip at the end of August
Applications for the 2021-2022 cohort are open until Nov 30th, 2021
Breaking Borders is a program pioneered by Camp Quality, an international family of non-profit camps that provides summer camp programming for children affected by childhood cancer, hematological diseases and their siblings. Breaking Borders was developed to address the young adult population of childhood cancer survivors transitioning from pediatric care into adult follow-up clinics – the fastest growing and most under served oncology age demographic. Breaking Borders addresses the necessary life skills needed to aid in this difficult transition by providing an opportunity for participants to take on a large long-term goal– one that they will have control over – that will allow them chances to build grit, self-confidence, perseverance and other valuable skills that they will carry with them throughout their lives.
This is done through a series of buildup sessions which culminates in an end of program expedition. Over the course of 10 months, participants will meet via video conference for a session that will help aid them in the preparation for their multi-day final expedition. Ranging from communication, trip-planning, team-building, to fundraising, our participants will walk away from this program not only with tangible life skills but also an increased sense of self that one attains only get from taking an outdoor adventure.
The 2020-2021 cohort of Breaking Borders participants started their journey in the spring of 2020 and delayed their wilderness expedition trip due to the pandemic until August 24th – 30th, 2021. In the 18 months leading up to their expedition the group of 8 participants who were 19-25 year old cancer survivors, met once a month virtually to meet around communication, trip planning, team building, leadership, survivorship, mental health, character strengths and decision making.
The trip was designed and planned by the participants and seven of the participants with two Canadian Cancer Society staff went on a multi-day camping and hiking trip in Strathcona Park on Vancouver Island, summiting Mount Edward Albert over the course of 4 nights and 5 days covering 35km. Participants walked away from the trip with tangible life skills and increased sense of self-esteem and confidence.