Danielle & Terrell Shell
How did you get involved with Camp One Step?
In April 2010, our son was diagnosed with T-Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia at the age of 3. We heard about Camp One Step through the hospital.
How long have you been involved with our organization?
We have been involved with Camp One Step since 2015 when our family attended our very first Family Camp. Family Camp weekends have allowed our hearts to heal from the post-traumatic stress of living with a cancer diagnosis. Since then, we have been regulars at Family Camp and our kids have participated in Sibling Camp, Summer Camp, Dude Ranch Program, and Winter Camp.
What volunteer roles have you held?
We have been the Program Directors for Family Camp since 2019. Leading Family Camp is very special to us because our entire family endured the trauma of a pediatric cancer diagnosis. Helping to create lifelong memories for the campers and their families through scavenger hunts, karaoke, and arts and crafts is what it’s all about. Our role as program directors is helping to remind the campers that they are “just kids” who are heroes without capes who also happen to have amazing families!
What keeps you coming back to Camp One Step?
We keep coming back to camp to relive and to create family memories. It’s not often that our entire family is in one room together for an entire weekend. Every opportunity we get to bring the family together, we take advantage of that. Also, since our son is a long-term childhood cancer survivor, we want to pay it forward to other families experiencing cancer, sharing the hope and love our family forged in and out of treatment. We have been blessed even in the face of this diagnosis, so why not be a blessing to another family who is experiencing this same reality.
What do you love the most about the program you lead?
Being a Program Director is an important role and we don’t take that lightly; however it also affords us the opportunity to live out our inner camper and plan activities specifically for other families – activities that will hopefully bring smiles, joy and encourage lots of fun.
What are some words of wisdom or advice that you would give campers?
We would advise campers to keep an open mind and heart toward camp. It might seem scary to be away from the comforts of home at first but afterwards, when you’re ready to leave camp for a week or weekend, you will see camp as a “home away from home” and you will look forward to attending year after year. Pediatric cancer takes so much from our families. Camping with Camp One Step helps put back the joy the diagnosis of cancer took away!
What are some words of wisdom or advice that you would give new or interested volunteers?
Camp One Step is an amazing organization with such a worthy cause. Volunteering for camp has brought us so much excitement – we hope it will do the same for you.
These campers have and will continue to endure so much on their journey through life, and you have the opportunity to play such an important role in making a positive impact. Take advantage of that opportunity every chance that you can.
What are some of your interests outside of camp?
We enjoy traveling as a family, and are always looking forward to another camp week or weekend to begin!