Around the Island

‘Campsgiving’ returns to Island, but not Quinipet

REPORTER FILE PHOTO
Native American drumming instructor Walter Crow will return to the KidsNeedMoRE Campsgiving event this weekend at the Ram’s Head Inn.

While Thanksgiving is a day for families and friends to unite and count their blessings, for some it’s the start of a holiday period in which they long for a respite from a life of anxiety, worry and heartbreak.

They are families with children who have cancer and are in and out of hospitals fighting battles they’re not sure they can win.

Friday, 70 KidsNeedMoRE members — children, parents and Camp Adventure staff — will arrive on Shelter Island for the annual “Campsgiving” event that provides a combination of time to reflect and restore themselves and escape the constant attention to health issues. They’ll hike, participate in games and other activities, share a Thanksgiving-style feast and exchange stories.

KidsNeedMoRE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the lives of children, families and young adults coping with cancer and life-threatening illness.

The Frankel Sisters, a Long Island duo of singer-songwriters, will be on hand to entertain. Sisters Jaymee and Lianne Frankel were among the top groups in Newsday’s “Battle of the Bands.”

Native American drumming instructor Walter Crow will also perform and teach this year.

A “Crystal Bowl Healing Workshop” is on tap and everyone will share a bonfire and sing camp songs, according to KidsNeedMoRE organizers, Melissa Firmes Ray and John Ray.

But this week, the group won’t be staying at Camp Quinipet, which has been their home since 2000. Instead, many will be staying at the Ram’s Head Inn with others housed at B&Bs and some with familes on the Island.

“We are very much looking forward to hosting KidsNeedMoRE for their Campsgiving event,” Ram’s Head co-owner Linda Eklund said. “Any chance we have to give back and support local charities, especially ones benefitting children and families, are absolutely a priority. We truly want to make their experience at the Ram’s Head festive, welcoming and unforgettable.”

KidsNeedMoRE has held its annual Camp Adventure program at Quinipet since the summer of 2000, but will be relocating to Timber Lake West in Roscoe, New York this summer.

Several factors influenced the decision to take the Camp Adventure program upstate, Mr. Ray said, including:
• Cost of renting the upstate camp will be $15,000 less than they would have spent at Quinipet.
• The upstate site will accommodate 550 people while Quinipet could host 243 campers and staff members.
• Lodging and other amenities provide “pristine cabins and buildings,” as well as multiple amenities, including outdoor and indoor concert halls.