First Descents (FD) is an amazing outdoor adventure camp for young adults (ages 18-39) with cancer plus a whole lot more… so without further ado, here are 10 reasons why I LOVE First Descents….
Top 10 Reasons Why I LOVE First Descents (FD Camp for Cancer Survivors):
10. Over the past several years, our good friend Brent does an insane bike race called the Leadville 100 to help raise $$$ for First Descents. (And just to let you know, Brent and his wife (aka Stepmom) first got involved with FD because their best friend, Allan Goldberg, was a cancer survivor and became Executive Director of FD. Allan passed away 2 years ago after being cancer-free for 25 years… and guess what kind of cancer Allan had…. yep, the same rhabdomyosarcoma as my Alan… weird right? Not even 6 degrees of separation.)
9. Speaking of 6 degrees of separation, my cousin had leukemia when he was 16 and after he recovered, he went to First Descents Camp for two summers and LOVED it. (My cousin now is 23 years old, getting ready to graduate college & begin a PhD program in the fall. He is an amazing and inspiring survivor and I adore him.)
8. No one calls you by your first name there… instead, they give you a really cool nickname like Stepmom, Truffles, Stiletto, Masturbator, Shipwreck, Dr. P & Giggles. (BTW, these are real nicknames of real campers.)
7. FD is all about the ADVENTURE not the cancer… Of course you get to meet other people who can easily relate to what you’ve gone through (or are going through) but really, FD programs are all about having fun, getting outside & pushing your limits through kayaking, rock climbing & other cool outdoor activities. What a novel approach to traditional therapy!
6. No kayaking, river or rock climbing experience necessary. In fact, most campers have NEVER done anything like this before. Some don’t even know how to swim. FD will teach you everything you need to know.
5. They offer one week camps from April – September throughout the country in beautiful places like Moab, UT; Mount Hood, OR; Salmon River, ID; Vail, CO; Estes Park, CO; Bryson City, NC.
4. You never outgrow FD… after your 1st amazing experience, you can continue with other First Descenter’s through their new FDX Program. FDX is for past campers who have “outgrown” their regular programs & want to “challenge” themselves on more difficult rapids & harder climbs, all with their FD family by their side.
3. It’s FREE!!!! Yes, that’s right… it’s 100% free.
2. My Alan would have LOVED to have gone to a FD camp… in fact, we joked with Brent & Lisa about sneaking Alan in even though he was over-age.
#1. Their philosophy ROCKS…. “Cancer, no matter how aggressive, dormant, advanced or invasive it is, will never be stronger that you are.”
For more information on this amazing, free, outdoor adventure, please visit their website at www.firstdescents.org. If you are a First Descenter, please let us know from your perspective how it was… Knowledge is power. Share the power please!
For more information on camps, retreats and other support services please visit our Cancer Support Services page.