EVERY penny we raise goes toward events that provide smiles, joy and laughter for these courageous children!
Camp MerryTimes is the highlight of the year for the children. The camp is open to kids 4-17 years old and to both children with cancer and their siblings. We provide activities from sun-up to sundown!!
The activities offered are:
We feel that personal interaction is important in building young children’s self-esteem, so the camper-to-counselor ratio for kids under seven years of age is one-to-one. For campers over seven years old, the ratio is two-to-one. Throughout the entire camp experience, participants receive positive reinforcement for every act they accomplish, however big or small. They also develop close friendships with their counselors, who are their role models. We encourage the teens 16 and over to be part of our CIT (counselor in training) program.
On Saturday night, we have a show in which every child participates. A professional director of children’s plays flies in from Chicago and creates the production. She works with each cabin and helps them to recognize their own creativity and potential. When parents look at the video from the show, they often say, “I can’t believe my child got up on stage and did that!” Our director – MerryFairy (Lynn Walsh) loves the children and knows how to make them feel like THEY CAN DO IT!!
We give the parents $75.00 when they drop off their children, and we encourage them to go out for a nice dinner and spend some quality time together while we have their children for four days.
Camp MerryTimes has been going strong for 13 years, and the people that make it happen every year for us are Judy and Billy Haynes. They donate their beautiful Camp Ton-a-Wandah, in the mountains of Hendersonville, North Carolina. They love the Friends Of Santa Claus children and are definitely making a difference in each camper’s life at Camp MerryTimes.
There is a place in the woods,
Where laughter rings from the hills:
Where children shed their fear, and
Glow with a divine light.
For a time, the world is all
Smiles and cheers and hugs.
And as I watch them fill with hope,
I find new hope within myself.
E.L. Carpenter Counselor – Camp MerryTimes 2008
From Interstate 26:
If traveling on I-26 East or West, take Exit 53 (Upward Road). Follow the signs to the Carl Sandburg Estate and Flat Rock Playhouse. You will pass through one traffic light through Highway 176. At this juncture, Upward Road becomes Highland Lake Road at this point. Stay on Highland Lake Road until it dead-ends at Highway 25/Greenville Highway. Turn left onto Highway 25 and proceed for eight-tenths of a mile to Little River Road. Turn right onto Little River Road and continue two and two-tenths miles to Lake Falls Road. Turn left here and proceed four-tenths of a mile to the camp. You will see the entrance on the right.
From Highway 25:
Leave Hendersonville via the Greenville Highway/Highway 25. Proceed south to the Flat Rock Post Office and Flat Rock Playhouse. At this intersection, turn right onto Little River Road. Proceed two and two-tenths miles to Lake Falls Road. Turn left here and proceed four-tenths of a mile to the camp. You will see the entrance on the right.