- "There is a quality of compassion and truth amongst people who understand the fragility of mortality. I am thankful for everything you do to help others who struggle as survivors." – Marisa, aka "Wolf Rider"
Frequently Asked Questions
Things to know before you apply.
Who is eligible to go to Camp Koru?
Camp Koru – Snow/Surf: Adults who were diagnosed with cancer between the ages of 18-39 and who will be finished with active treatment at least three (3) months before the first date of camp. Some exceptions are made on a case-by-case basis for those who are living with advanced cancer. However, we will be launching a unique retreat dedicated to young adults living with advanced stage cancer, and their caregivers soon. If interested, please email our Program and Outreach Coordinator, Mindy at firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve been to another adventure-type camp, can I come to Camp Koru?
Yes! We hold 3 spots per camp just for young adults who have previously been to a non-surfing/skiing (depending on whic camp you apply to*) adventure/outdoor-based camp (specific to young adults – like First Descents, True North Treks, Survive and Thrive, etc.). *If you've attended a week-long surfing camp for young adults, you would be eligible to apply for our ski/snowboard camp, but not our surf camps. If you've attended a week-long ski/snowboard camp for young adults, you would be eligible to apply for our surf camp, but not our ski/snowboard camp.
I’m eligible, but is Camp Koru Right for me?
Camp Koru is a retreat for cancer survivors ages 18-39 seeking to kick start their lives after cancer and meet others seeking to do the same. If you are open-minded, committed to trying something new, and taking positive action steps in your life, Camp Koru is for you.
If these apply to you, Camp Koru is for you!
- Unsure how to get back to a “normal” life or seeking a new “normal”
- Looking to kick start your life after cancer
- Seeing to overcome fears
- Interested in discussions with other survivors
- Open to a restorative and healing environment
- Looking to be energized and renewed
- Seeing an active and healthy environment
- You are a beginner at the primary camp activity (surfing, skiing, snowboarding, etc)
- Committed to positive action & moving forward in life
What Camp Koru is NOT
- A vacation
- A place for hostility or lack of respect
- A psycho-therapy session
What can I expect from Camp Koru?
Camp Koru aims to be a positive, engaging, active, and restorative experience. Here’s what you can expect at camp:
- An atmosphere of honesty, trust, and openness
- Always respectful & never non-judgmental
- This is not your traditional camp Food! We source locally, organically when possible, and have some of the best chefs in the biz to create amazing menus that provide fuel and nutrients for all the adventures of the week.
- A focus on being active and having new adventures
- Group living arrangements – sleeping in the same room with others of the same sex, or on an air mattress, and even outside if you choose (it’s fun!)
- An unplugged environment (we have limited internet hours)
What do you ask of your participants?
We invest a lot of time, care, and commitment in our participants at Camp Koru. We ask that you do the same for yourself when you decide to attend Camp Koru. Once you make that decision to attend, you make a positive commitment to invest in yourself and your future.
- Turn off your phone: We understand it’s exciting to post on Facebook or tweet from camp, but we just ask that you limit your phone time so that YOU get the most out of the Camp Koru experience.
- Respect: We have participants from diverse cancer, cultural, religions, and career backgrounds. In conversations and actions, just use common sense.
- Commitment to the journey: This week might present activities that are out of your comfort zone. That’s why you’re here! Bring an open mind and come along for the ride!
- A sense of adventure!
What is a Power Name? Do we have to have one?
Yep! Everyone must have one, and if you don’t bring one, we’ll assign one to you when you get to Maui.
- Your power name can’t be any form of your real name (first or last)
- Your power name can’t be anything you’ve ever had or been called before
- Think of something that is less of a nickname, and more of a POWER name.
"I have to admit I thought the power names were a bit hokey at first, but now mine is the name I use when asked at coffee shops. Seeing "Lola" written on my coffee cup brings a smile to my face. It's definitely still my power name!" - Lola
How much does Camp Koru cost?
Camp Koru is FREE to attend once you get the main airport at Maui (airport code OGG) or Portland (PDX). This includes amazingly healthy and wholesome meals, accommodations, Surf/SUP/Ski/Snowboarding instruction, transportation to/from the airport. Airfare is not included at this time.
Do you provide assistance with travel?
Yes! Here are some options for getting airfare covered:
The Cassie Hines Shoes Cancer Foundation: If you were diagnosed with cancer between the age of 16-30 (even if you’re now over 30), you may be eligible for a CHSCF travel scholarship. Click the link above to find out more.
Apply for a Travel Scholarship with Athletes 4 Cancer: We issue 1-2 travel scholarships per camp depending on need and funds available. These are awarded as a grant. Participants purchase their ticket; A4C reimburses award amount. Average scholarships are $250-$500 toward airfare. We do not reimburse tickets purchased with air miles. Check out all the info here. Or you can apply here.
Fundraise for your airfare: Applicant fundraises a minimum of $1000 for travel within the US, $1500 for travel to/from Canada, and $2000 for travel to/from Europe. Athletes 4 Cancer purchases ticket for participant after fundraising goal has been met.
I’ve applied! But I’ve got some questions.
Where is Camp Koru located?
Surf: On the southwest shore of the island of Maui in Hawaii. Our camp base is approximately a 35-minute drive from the Maui airport (OGG).
Snow: Hood River, Oregon is our base for our snow camp, with Mt. Hood as our daily ski & snowboard destination. Hood River is a one-hour drive from Portland airport (PDX).
Once there, will we have free time in the area?
You will have some free time to peruse various parts of the region where we are staying. We have some organized activities, hikes, and sightseeing to visit the surrounding areas of where we are staying (Lahaina, North Shore, South Shore, L’ao Valley in Maui; Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge waterfall hikes, and Hood River in Oregon). If you are interested in exploring beyond this, you may want to extend your stay in the area. This is very popular to do post-camp rather than before camp, as often you will find your peers from camp will also want to explore with you!
Can I stay extra days either before or after camp?
Yes! Although we don’t offer accommodations prior or after camp dates, many participants decide to come in early or stay late. Often, people will share hotel rooms with fellow participants. While coming in early or late is totally fine, we only offer airport to camp transportation on the first and last days of camp.
If you come in early, be sure to return to the airport to catch your ride to camp. Alternatively, you can order a taxi to camp. This is specifically for Maui.
If you decide to stay late, you can catch the shuttle from camp to the airport (Maui only) and then connect with your hotel’s airport shuttle. Alternatively, you can order a taxi from camp to your next destination.
My friend/spouse/partner/family member is also a survivor (and qualifies for camp). Can we come to camp together?
While we understand you would like to attend together – it can be intimidating to attend alone – unless this poses a significant hardship, we prefer to have folks attend separately. As you might imagine, having a couple people who already know one another can alter the dynamic in a group. Going on your own can be an even more rewarding experience than going with someone you already know!
I applied for an upcoming camp, but now realize I won’t be able to make the dates. Can my application be applied to a different camp date, or will I need to reapply?
No need to reapply if you are applying to camp within one year of original application date. (example: you applied in July 2015 for November 2015 camp, but now would like to attend camp in April 2016)
If your application is more than on-year old, you will need to reapply. (example: you applied in January 2015 for April 2015 camp, but now would like to attend April 2016 camp)
This is for your application only. For guidelines about your medical form, scroll down to the medical form section.
It’s all about the medical form.
Who fills out the medical form?
The medical form must be filled out by your oncologist’s, or primary care physician’s (PCP) office. If you are currently under the care of your oncologist, their office must fill out the form. If you no longer see your oncologist on a regular basis, you may ask your PCP’s office to fill out the form. The doctor or medical office filling out the form must have a strong understanding of your current health, and history of your cancer treatment. The form must be sent to A4C by fax with official medical office cover sheet, or from an official medical office email address.
Can I return the medical form to you?
Unfortunately no. The form must be sent to A4C by fax with official medical office cover sheet, or from an official medical office email address. If your doctor’s office is unwilling to send the information, please contact us right away.
I recently had my doctor fill out a medical release for another organization/camp, can s/he send that to you instead?
Unfortunately no. Your doctor must complete the official A4C medical form and return it to us with either an official cover sheet, or email address.
My medical form was approved, but I need to change camp dates. Will I need to have my doctor fill out another form?
In most cases, yes. If you are switching camps in the same season (example: fall camp 1 to fall camp 2), your medical form will stand approved. If you are switching from one camp season to another (example: fall camp 1 or 2 to spring camp 1 or 2) you will need to have your physician fill out another form and return it to us within six months of the new camp start date.