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About Camp One Step by Children Oncology Services.

We exist to heal scars that no one can see such as fear, isolation, depression, lack of support and no longer fitting in. Through community, support and shared experiences with peers, we deliver happy, pain free medicine called “camp.”


Camp One Step by Children’s Oncology Services, is a leader in providing empowering, supportive, educational and fun experiences for children (5-19) who have been diagnosed with cancer. We are the only local organization to offer 11 different programs throughout the year serving children and families who live in Illinois, Wisconsin and throughout the Midwest. Thanks to our 400 annual volunteers, including medical professionals, children who are in different stages of treatment have the ability to attend our One Step Programs. For over 40 years, our organization has served more than 16,000 campers.

From our extremely popular two-week Summer Camp which now serves hundreds of children, to Family and Sibling Camps for family members of children with cancer, to various educational and empowering excursions, we offer a total of 11 camp programs throughout the year. All of our programs are designed to meet the emotional, educational, and support needs of pediatric cancer patients and their families.

The status of a child’s therapy or stage of illness rarely affects their eligibility to participate. In addition to having been diagnosed with cancer, some children participating in our programs have either physical and/or mental challenges. One Step Programs are committed to adapting all activities to meet the needs of each and every camper.

Typically, up to 25% of campers receive chemotherapy or other treatments on-site during their time at the camp from our incredibly dedicated and skilled volunteer doctors and nurses. The majority of other campers are either in active treatment at their local hospital or they have gone into remission.

Knowing the financial hardship that can come with a cancer diagnosis, we provide our programs for free to our campers and families. Thanks to generous support we receive each year from individuals, corporations and foundations, we are able to do so.

We require that all of our program volunteers be at least 21 years of age by the start of the program for which they are volunteering.

We have a small management team that is fortunate to have the support of more than 400 volunteers (including many former campers).  In fact, approximately 1 in 5 of our volunteers are former campers themselves. Individuals for all professions and backgrounds. Our volunteer medical staff is made up of doctors and nurses from local area hospitals.

Our volunteers are able to complete an easy, online application through the registration system (Ultracamp). If you are interested in volunteering for a specific program, you may click onto that program page, and you may see an “Application” button.

Alternatively, if you wish to know which programs we have (upcoming), or to join our email list, you may create an account (without applying to a program), by clicking HERE.

After you submit your application and supportive materials, first-time program volunteers will receive an interview. In addition to an interview, applicants must be able to pass a background screening.

We do ask that our counselors stay for the entire duration of the program. There are exceptions to Summer Camp, whereas some volunteers will lead what are known as “mini-camps” for one or two days.

Each program volunteer will receive pertinent information and training, which will be relevant to their role and position for that program. In addition to this, you may receive information about mandatory online webinar training, as appropriate to your role.

Webinar training is a tool that we use to educate and prepare volunteers. It serves the dual purpose of both allowing us to present the same, consistent training and information to all applicants and volunteers, regardless of their location. You may complete the training in the comfort of your home.

The other purpose is that it allows us to have the documentation necessary to illustrate that we are training our staff with a regulated set of standards, to ensure that we are providing a safe environment for both our campers and volunteers.

Mandatory training webinars are required once per calendar year. This means that you must complete them once per calendar year, for every year that you choose to volunteer your time.

You will need a device with internet access (Smartphone, tablet, or computer), so that you can view the information and answer the questions.