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Free Cancer Camps, Retreats and Adventures for Patients & Survivors

Free Cancer Camps, Retreats and Adventures for Patients & Survivors

There are many organizations that have put together cancer camps, retreats and adventures for cancer patients and survivors. Whether you want to go on an adventure or experience a relaxing respite, there are charities that will help you get away and escape.

In this article, we’ll talk about some of the organizations that can help you. We’ll also share some travel assistance resources to help you get to and from your next adventure!

Travel Assistance Resources

Fighting cancer can drain you emotionally, mentally, physically and financially. If you want to attend a cancer camp but can’t afford to get there, you may be able to get financial assistance with the travel costs from these organizations.

Cassie Hines Shoes Cancer Foundation

Patients who were diagnosed with cancer before the age of 40 may be eligible for travel assistance from The Cassie Hines Shoes Cancer Foundation. This organization can help you travel to a cancer camp or conference, like Epic Experiences Beyond Cancer in Colorado!

Learn more about this on the CHSS Foundation website.


These aren’t quiet, casual retreats! These adventures will take you into the wilderness, to theme parks, and to other adrenaline-filled destinations!

First Descents

First Descents provides outdoor adventures for young adults who have been impacted by cancer and multiple sclerosis.

In order to be eligible, you must meet these requirements:

  • You must currently be between the ages of 18-45.
  • You must have been diagnosed between the ages of 15-39.

Their programs are located around the United States. As of this writing, there are adventures available in California, Colorado, New York, North Carolina and Utah.

Epic Experience Beyond Cancer (Colorado)

Epic Experience provides free weeklong adventure camps for adults who are fighting or who have survived cancer. They welcome all applicants regardless of their status along their journey.

The camps are held in Colorado, about three hours west of Denver. Any eligible cancer patients or survivors in the United States or Canada are welcome to attend. If you were diagnosed with cancer between the ages of 16 and 30, you may be eligible for travel assistance. If not, you will need to cover your own airfare.

If you’re interested, you can apply on the Epic Experiences website.

Give Kids the World Village (Florida)

This 89-acre nonprofit resort in Kissimmee provides free week-long wish vacations to children who are critically ill. Families are invited to enjoy a week away from hospital visits and medical procedures and just make memories together.

This park actually has an incredible story. It was founded by Henri Landworth, a hotelier who was asked to provide free accommodations to a young leukemia patient named Amy who made a wish to visit Orlando’s theme parks. He gladly agreed but the rest of the travel plans took too long to come together, so Amy passed away before her wish could be granted.

To ensure that this would never happen again, Henri created Give Kids The World in 1986. He has worked with many different partners to ensure that children can make it to the park within 24 hours, if necessary.

The resort now spans 89 acres and has 166 villa accommodations. In order to get a trip to the Village, your child needs to make a wish with a wish-granting organization.

Family Fun Days

Families who have been affected by cancer may be able to participate in fun daytrip adventures from these organizations.


Children under age 18 who are battling cancer or another life-threatening medical condition can apply to become a HopeKid! Your child will remain eligible for HopeKid events until two years after their last treatment.

This organization provides free family-friendly events every month to help support your child along their medical journey. However, families are responsible for their own travel costs.

There are HopeKid chapters in:

  • Phoenix AZ
  • Denver CO
  • Kansas City, KS
  • Minneapolis/St. Paul MN
  • Dallas/Fort Worth TX

You can register as a HopeKid on their website.

Angel Foundation (Minnesota)

Angel Foundation hosts one-day family camps that bring families together to enjoy fun, therapeutic activities and connection with other families who are going through similar situations.

These events typically happen during the summer. You can get the details on the Angel Foundation website.

Deliver the Dream (Florida)

Deliver the Dream coordinates Family Fun Days for families who are dealing with a serious illness, crisis or disability. They host periodic day trips in the Florida area that bring families together to bond over shared experiences.

Although their events take place in Florida, they do serve people from all over the United States. You can find out more about their upcoming events on their website.

FREE Vacations

Sometimes, you just need to run away from it all. There are some organizations that will help you do just that!

Believe in Tomorrow

Believe in Tomorrow has respite vacation properties in Delaware, Maryland and North Carolina. Their properties offer beach or mountain retreats for eligible families.

In order to be eligible, your family must include a child who has been diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. Your child must be age 17 or under.

You can apply using the printed application on their website. You will need to select whether you would prefer beach or mountain respite.

Waves of Grace

This organization has donated properties around the United States, which can be used by eligible cancer patients for free. They have several different types of respite trips available for you.

Beach trips are available in the southeast United States. Their properties are located along the gulf in Alabama and Florida. When you book a stay through Waves of Grace, the organization will also coordinate with a professional photographer to help capture some incredible family photos for you. You can apply for a beach trip online

Mountain respite trips are available in the East Tennessee Mountains. Waves of Grace has a partner there called SmokiesTime that offers free use of their vacation cabins to cancer patients. You will need to apply for a mountain respite on the Waves of Grace website.

Waves of Grace serves cancer patients who are currently undergoing active treatment. You will need the help of your medical team in order to complete the application.

Hunting & Fishing Trips

If you love hunting or fishing, then you won’t want to miss out on these incredible trips from these organizations!

United Special Sportsman Alliance Inc.

This organization offers free outdoor adventures for youth, adults and veterans who have been affected by cancer or other serious illnesses! If you get a trophy fish or game animal on your adventure, USSA may be able to help you with free mounting from their network of taxidermists as well.

If travel is required, USSA may be able to help finance or subsidize your travel expenses. However, they ask that you contribute if you can so that they can grant more wishes for other people too.

In order to be eligible for an outdoor wish from USSA, you just need to be someone in the United States who has a life-threatening illness or a disability.

You can apply on the USSA website.

Casting for Recovery

This organization coordinates fishing trips for women who have received a breast cancer diagnosis. These retreats are available to those at any stage of treatment or recovery.

The organization asks that you apply to the retreat that is in your state or closest to your home. You can only apply for one.

As of this writing, there are retreats offered in all states. Find the one nearest you.

Summer Camps for Kids

Children who are impacted by cancer can attend special summer sleep-away camps with other children who are going though similar experiences. This gives them the chance to make deep and lasting friendships through shared experiences.

Camp Kesem

Camp Kesem serves children of cancer patients. These weeklong camps happen are coordinated by Kesem chapters at 130 colleges around the country.

In order to be eligible, your child must be between 6 to 18 years old. The child must have a parent who has been diagnosed with cancer. The child can attend camp, even if the parent is in recovery or has been tragically lost to cancer.

Applications for Kesem camps open in January of each year. The applications are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. You can find an application online.

Arizona Camp Sunrise (Arizona)

This week-long camp invites pediatric cancer patients and survivors to Whispering Hope Ranch in Payson, Arizona. Activities include hiking, archery, arts and crafts, talent shows, Jell-O wars, and therapeutic skills.

This organization also operates Arizona Camp Sidekicks, which is for siblings of cancer patients and survivors. The activities are very similar, but the focus is a little different.

You can register for both of these free cancer camps on the SW Kids Cancer Foundation website.

Camp Boggy Creek (Florida)

Camp Boggy Creek provides a free camp for children who have been diagnosed with a serious illness. The camp features fishing, horseback riding, and other fun adventures for children to enjoy while they form lasting friendships.

In order to be eligible, your child must be between the ages of 7 and 16 years old, both developmentally and chronologically. They also offer family weekends for children, which can accommodate children that are a little younger.

You can find an application on the Camp Boggy Creek website.

Camp Carefree (North Carolina)

Camp Carefree provides a one-week camp for children between the ages of 6 and 16 who have chronic illnesses or disabilities. Children who attend the camp are often undergoing treatment for cancer, spina bifida, epilepsy and other conditions. This organization also offers camps for siblings of ill children or even children who have ill parents.

Applications are posted on their website every February for that year’s camp. Once you attend the first time, you can ask to have an application mailed to you in January so that you can get a head start on that process.


There are many different cancer camps, outdoor adventures, free respite vacations and more available to cancer patients and survivors. If you are interested, contact the providers in this list for more information about how you can apply.

Nicole is the owner and lead researcher for Low Income Relief. She has over 20 years of professional research and writing experience, and she has been solely dedicated to investigating low income topics for the last 10 years. Nicole started Low Income Relief after a personal experience with poverty. When her husband was medically discharged from the US Army, their family experienced tremendous financial hardship. Nicole was able to gather help from multiple community agencies and move into a nearby low income housing unit in just two weeks! Since then, Nicole has been dedicated to helping low income families in crisis. She regularly spends hundreds of hours combing through countless resources to make sure that Low Income Relief has the most comprehensive and complete resource directories on the internet today. Prior to starting Low Income Relief, Nicole worked as a novelist, journalist, ghostwriter and content creator. Her work has been featured in various print and online publications, including USA Today, The Daily Herald, The Chronicle and more. Her work has also been featured by Google for Publishers and other leading industry publications.