CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB)– A camp that brings laughter, adventures and a sense of belonging is back this summer.

This week, Junior Camp Good Days kicks off, bringing kids ages 4-7 to adventures around town. They plan on taking the kids to Get Air, Billy Beez, Darien Lake, and finishing off the week by seeing the 11 Day Power Play.

Though Camp Good Days and Special Times didn’t stop helping children with cancer and their families during the pandemic, they are excited to welcome back the many volunteers to bring the full experience back to life.

“We are ecstatic to be back and it feels really great to have all of our volunteers work with our kids again.” said Lisa Booz, Western New York’s Director of Camp Good Days and Special Times. Booz said over half of their volunteers and staff are former campers themselves.

Alicia Sommer, who’s now a staff counselor at the camp, has been apart of the camp family ever since she was four years old. Sommer was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma was she was just one year old. She has been returning every year as a camper, then a volunteer and now a staff member. She says it’s important for her to give children who are going through what she went through, the sense of belonging.

Mayor Pete Mercurio of East Aurora and his wife, Susan, have been a part of Camp Good days for 15 years. Their daughter was diagnosed with Leukemia when she was just three years old. They say that Camp Good Days was important to their family while they handles the hardships of cancer.

“Camp Good Days is just so pivotal for these kids,” said Pete Mercurio. “For their own piece of mind, to have fun and leave all the stress behind.”

Junior Camp Good Days is a week long event introducing children to the program. For their older campers, they offer an over night camp, where children 8-17 can connect with others who are going through similar situations.

For more information on camps offered, how to sign up to volunteer and how to donate, you can go to their website here.

Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.