Stories from Cancer Camp: Tales of Glitter and Gratitude


  • Catherine M. Laing University of Calgary
  • Nancy J. Moules University of Calgary



hermeneutics, storytelling, cancer camp, paediatric oncology


Each year in Canada, approximately 1400 children and adolescents under the age of 20 are diagnosed with cancer.  It is well recognized that childhood cancer affects the entire family, and innumerable challenges accompany this diagnosis. In recognition of the challenges that accompany this disease, cancer camps started in the 1970s to help children and their families escape the rigidity and severity of cancer treatment. Very little is known about how camps affect these families, and to that end, a philosophical hermeneutic study was conducted to understand the meaning of children’s cancer camps for the child with cancer and the family.  Six families were interviewed to bring understanding to this topic, and while the research included findings related to the concept of play, fit and acceptance, grief, and community, this paper will detail the finding related to storytelling and the reshaping of experiences that happens by virtue of being at camp.


Author Biographies

Catherine M. Laing, University of Calgary

Assistant Professor

Faculty of Nursing

University of Calgary


Nancy J. Moules, University of Calgary


Faculty of Nursing

University of Calgary

Alberta Children's Hosptial Foundation/Research Institute Nursing Professorship in Child and Family Centred Cancer Care


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