Camp Merry Times campers and counselors gathered at the flagpole for a group photo. (2013)

Camp Merry Times campers and counselors gathered at the flagpole for a group photo. (2013)

Camp Merry Times 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:

  • Canoeing
  • Kayaking
  • Climbing wall
  • Arts and crafts
  • Horseback riding
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Basketball
  • Archery
  • Golf
  • Hiking
  • Gardening
  • High ropes course
  • Wood burning
  • Dancing and singing
  • Campfires with s’mores
  • A Camp-Out for the teens with team building activities

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 – Merry Fairy (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 Merry Times 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 Merry Times.