Publix Charities supports Camp Boggy Creek.
Camp Boggy Creek provides children with debilitating illnesses camp life experiences.
Helping children suffering from cancer or other devastating diseases has been the single focus of Camp Boggy Creek since it was founded in 1996 by actor Paul Newman and Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf. Its mission statement attests to that, saying, “Every child, no matter their illness, could experience the transformational spirit and friendships that go hand in hand with camp.”
Publix Super Market Charities believes in helping children and is proud to support the camp so it can offer its services to as many people as possible.
“When children receive a diagnosis of a serious medical illness it can deliver a blow to the child and the family,” said Thomas Jelneck, Camp Boggy Creek’s chief marketing officer. “Camp Boggy Creek is a medically safe, life-changing, year-round camp that allows children with a serious medical diagnosis to play, laugh and just be a kid.”
The camp is able to make magic happen for the kids through generous donations from people, corporations and medical partners, Jelneck said.
“Oftentimes, being at camp is the first time that a child has ridden a horse or done archery or caught a fish because of their diagnosis,” he said. “We make that magic happen.”
The Publix Charities’ donation helps the camp offset food services for campers, staff and volunteers, Jelneck said. That – along with other donors and partners – allows the camp to offer its services without charging a dime.
The camp’s team includes paid year-round staff, seasonal counselors, and an army of medical and non-medical volunteers, Jelneck said. The camp is always looking for more volunteers to help throughout the year, especially during summer camp sessions.
According to the Camp Boggy Creek website, “Part of our mission is to provide campers with inclusive activities that foster a creative and fun atmosphere, and through these activities, we encourage independence and choice.”
Campers get those opportunities when they test their strength on a climbing wall, walk on a sloped-entry pathway into a heated pool and try their acting skills on a theater stage.
“The best part of Camp Boggy Creek is that children with serious medical illnesses get to be with other kids with the same diagnosis,” he said. “They build lifelong friendships, they build resilience, and they get to have the time of their life while at camp.”