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Camp Rainbow & Rainbow Kids

Camp Rainbow is for children who have, or have had cancer or a chronic blood disorder. Every year, campers have the opportunity to enjoy fun and meaningful experiences with others in a supportive environment full of activities. Camp Rainbow offers these kids and their families the opportunity to establish friendships and have fun.


Emilie Jarboe

Programs Throughout the Year

Camp Rainbow is held for one week every summer. The camp session includes activities such as horseback riding, arts and crafts, canoeing, fishing, swimming, archery and much more. Camp Rainbow welcomes patients of Phoenix Children's Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders who are ages 7-17. Campers are grouped in cabins based on age and gender, and they participate in activities with a variety of campers.

Camp Rainbow has a Counselor in Training (CIT) Program for campers ages 16-18. CITs learn leadership, organization and programming skills. A successful CIT can go on to be a valuable asset to any camp staff.

Rainbow Kids activities are held throughout the year. Activities may include bowling, visits to the zoo, indoor rock climbing, roller skating, game nights, pool parties, ball games and many more fun events. Rainbow Kids activities are for patients of the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders, who are any age, and their families.

All programs are provided free of charge for the patients and their families.

The History of Camp Rainbow

Camp Rainbow has been offering summer camp to cancer patients since 1985. It began with 27 campers and has grown to serve more than 120 children per camp session. The Phoenix chapter of United Order True Sisters #58 partnered with the Children's Cancer Center at Phoenix Children's  to establish the camp. Camp Rainbow was Phoenix Children's first camp program.

The Camp Rainbow Team

Camp Rainbow employs one full-time director. All other staff members are volunteers! Camp Rainbow's amazing volunteers come from all over: some are employees or volunteers of Phoenix Children's Hospital; many are dedicated members of the community; some even come from out of state.

The entire staff is dedicated to the welfare and happiness of the children and to providing the best supervision and care possible. All Camp Rainbow staff must be college age or older and are selected by means of a written application, interview, verification of personal references and background check.

Camp Rainbow has an excellent infirmary, staffed 24 hours a day by physicians, nurse practitioners and registered nurses.

Frequently Asked Questions for Campers

What is a typical day at Camp like?

Breakfast is at 8:30 a.m. every day. Each morning, you will go to a different activity area with your cabin, such as archery, swimming, canoeing and crafts. Lunch is at 12:30 p.m., and then we have quiet time for an hour. In the afternoon, you are off to another activity. Dinner is at 6 p.m. Every night we have special activities such as casino night, camp party, silly olympics and carnival. Lights out is at 9 p.m. or 10 p.m., depending on how old you are.

What will I eat at Camp?

There are three full meals served every day:   

  • Breakfast: Cereal, granola bars, soy milk, regular milk (whole, 2% and skim) and juices are served every morning; in addition, there can be scrambled eggs and bacon, pancakes and syrup, or biscuits and gravy.
  • Lunch: Build your own hamburger, delicious macaroni and cheese, or pizza. Dessert may be ice cream sandwiches!
  • Dinner: There might be hotdogs, sloppy joes or a Mexican feast. For dessert, there may be brownies or cupcakes.

For vegetarians there is always a veggie dish available, which could be veggie pizza or roasted vegetables.

If you have allergies or cannot eat certain foods because of diet needs or religious reasons, we make sure that the cook and counselors know this before your session begins. There will always be something tasty to keep you fueled for the day's activities.

Snacks are available in the dining hall all day long.

Who will take care of me?

Two counselors will live with you in your cabin. They are there to make sure you are safe and to be your friends. There are also nurses and doctors at Camp to make sure you get all the medical care you need. 

Where will I sleep?

When you get to Camp you will move right into your cabin. You will share a big room with 5-7 other campers your own age. Two counselors will also share the cabin with you. The counselors are your teachers, supervisors, and, most importantly, your friends while you are at Camp.

What will we do for fun? 

Our activities include a climbing wall and low ropes course, arts and crafts, archery, canoeing, fishing, music, horseback riding, tennis, basketball, swimming and our fun evening programs.

Will there be kids like me at Camp?

Every camper at Camp Rainbow has been a patient at the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Phoenix Children's. There may be kids with the same illness that you have or with different medical illnesses. Some kids may look totally healthy; others may be bald from chemotherapy. Some need medications every day; others do not. 

What should I bring to Camp?

Camp will provide you with a bed, including a mattress. You should bring pillows, and either a sleeping bag or sheets and blankets, so you are comfortable. You will also need towels, toiletries and clothes for a week. Don't forget your swimsuit, a sweatshirt, a flashlight and a water bottle. Once you're accepted, you will receive a full list of what to pack.

The following items are not allowed at camp: radios, cell phones, game boys, iPods, video cameras, weapons, tobacco, alcohol and illegal drugs.


Camp Rainbow is accredited by the American Camp Association (ACA), which upholds the highest standards for organized camping.

Camp Rainbow is a member of Children's Oncology Camping Association International (COCA-I).


Camp Rainbow relies on fundraising by the Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders and donations from private and corporate sponsors. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Bonnie Morgan, Major Gift Officer at 602-933-2607

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