Camp Wapiyapi


Every kid deserves an unforgettable camp experience — the chance to run, laugh and play with other children. At Camp Wapiyapi, through week-long summer camp sessions near Estes Park, children who are dealing with childhood cancer can experience those very things — at no charge.  

What is Wapiyapi?

Wapiyapi is a camp for children who have been diagnosed with cancer and for their sisters and brothers. 

Nearly 300 children are diagnosed with cancer in Colorado each year. Wapiyapi was created 17 years ago to provide a carefully crafted and unique camp experience where patients and their siblings ages 6 to 17 years of age can regain a normal childhood and begin the mental healing with a lifetime of friends and a supportive community. They find they are not alone.  They find that they are cherished just as they are. And they have fun!

Campers say it’s the “best week of the year” as they enjoy outdoor adventures, team challenges, a talent show, and all-camp dance near Estes Park — and simply being with others who understand. 

Wapiyapi’s mission is to provide an exceptional camp experience that fosters friendships, fun and healing outside of the hospital to families facing childhood cancer.

Camp Wapiyapi 2016 Dates

Session 1: June 4 – 8, 2016

Session 2: June 9 – 13, 2016

Session 3: June 14 – 18, 2016

Volunteers arrive one day prior to session for training

Campers: The application process will open in January 2016.  If you are interested in receiving communications, please email us at 

Prospective Volunteers: Camp Volunteer registration opens October 24, 2015 here. We also have a number of other opportunities available to volunteer throughout the year.  Download and send us the Volunteer Application and we will contact you.        

Started by University of Colorado medical students, Wapiyapi has a unique one-on-one camper to counselor (companion) ratio. Additionally, a 100%-volunteer medical staff ensures that there is one doctor and two nurses on site 24/7 throughout camp.  Over 300 camp volunteers contributed over 12,000 hours to support three (3) camp sessions in 2015.

Wapiyapi has a strong partnership with Children’s Hospital Colorado and draws families from across the Rocky Mountain region.

The Colorado-based nonprofit relies solely on donations to fund its programs. Since 1998 Wapiyapi has served more nearly 1,600 children and their families at no cost to families. Thanks to generous community support, we have grown from serving a handful of children to 223 patients and their siblings in 2015!

Our vision is that every family affected by childhood cancer has an opportunity to heal through the enriching experience that is Wapiyapi.

Wapiyapi – A Lakota Sioux word meaning health and healing.

Pursuant to our childcare license, our full-time camp staff volunteers must be at least 18 years old.  Additionally they must

  • provide required medical forms, references, applicable certifications, and participate in training and a background check.
  • commit to an entire 5-day session plus the day before it begins for training and team building
  • apply for one or two sessions
  • pay a $5 administrative processing fee to help defray processing costs

             Click here for more information about volunteering.

Note: Medical staff volunteer in 24-hour shifts.    

Summer Camp Breeze questions? Contact

Camp questions? Contact us at

Healing doesn’t always happen in the hospital.  At Camp Wapiyapi, cancer takes a back seat, and kids can just be kids.

Wapiyapi provides an exceptional camp experience that fosters friendships, fun and healing outside of the hospital to families facing childhood cancer