From Virtual to In-Person Campers: Ethan and Emery’s Journey with Horizon Day Camp–Baltimore

Emery at Horizon Day Camp BaltimoreOn Ethan’s 7th birthday, which was in July 2019, Ethan was diagnosed with Pre-B Cell Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia. He was treated at Johns Hopkins Children’s Hospital for 2.5 years.

“It was a tough, long road, but Ethan proved what it meant to be #EthanStrong,” shared Ethan’s parents, Erin and Khia.

Erin and Khia learned of Horizon Day Camp’s virtual program in 2020, soon after COVID-19 hit making their family crisis that much more frightening. The family had been living in isolation for months as Ethan had a compromised immune system. When Erin and Khia learned of Horizon’s virtual camp, they signed up Ethan and his sister Emery right away. “The experience Ethan and Emery had that summer playing, laughing, doing daily projects, meeting friends, and so much more – warmed our hearts,” said Erin. “It became a family ritual to sing in the kitchen each morning. Ethan and Emery were just happy kids!”

Still not ready for in-person camp in 2021, Ethan and Emery took part in a second summer of virtual camp. And then came the summer of 2022, when Ethan and Emery could finally attend camp in person.

“Ethan and Emery came home every day talking about ice cream, water slides, swim time, carnivals, science and art projects, interactions with friends, and the list goes on,” said Khia. “We loved pulling up to camp each day and being greeted so enthusiastically by the staff. It’s like a party at drop-off each day!”

Erin added, “To know that the kids were safe with doctors, nurses, and a caring staff looking out for them, and that they were making friends, having fun, and happy was a blessing. It’s just an incredible service, and we are so happy that we are part of the Horizon/Sunrise family. The evolution from virtual camp to in-person camp has been amazing, and we can’t wait for what is next!”