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“If I can not accept it, neither I can defeat it”

Bátor Tábor has participated in an academic research of the University of Utah in cooperation with ACA (American Camp Association) which shows several life-long positive effects of our camps’.

Those children who have to defeat severe cancerous illness start their lives with a great drawback. They have to quit school during their hospital treatments which makes it impossible or a lot harder to spend time with their friends not to mention that their body often alters during their illness. Even if the children are on the way of healing, the great amount of fear and pain lives a mark on their soul. They lose their self-esteem, openness and faith.

Our mission at Bátor Tábor is to help these children relaunch their lives and to make the most of their skills and opportunities. We have been helping children with severe illnesses for 18 years to let them believe in the world and themselves as again.

In 2018, The American Camp Association (ACA) and The University of Utah worked with SeriousFun to carry out a Youth Impact Study to understand the long-term learning outcomes of the camp experiences on children living with serious illnesses who attended a SeriousFun camp.

Alumni campers aged 18-25 from eight SeriousFun camps across the United States, Hungary, and Ireland experienced a number of beneficial outcomes from camp that they now consider useful in their daily, adult lives. The most prominent of those outcomes were appreciation for diversity, living in the moment, empathy and compassion, perseverance, self-confidence, and self-identity.  They also conveyed that they learned these outcomes primarily at camp, compared to other environments like home or school.

And what is the secret of camp? For them camp is such a special place where they can acquire these skills in a safe and encouraging environment through unforgettable experiences. The key factor are the people surrounding them there. The qualified and experienced volunteers, camp leaders, doctors and nurses have meant thems both an emotionally and physically safe environment in which they could develop well.

With the words of Bátor Tábor’s alumni campers the most important things learnt in camp are:

  • “that I am not alone with my problems anymore.”
  • “the giving and acceptance of unconditional love.”
  • “the unconditional trust, love and generosity.”
  • “the adventurousness.”
  • “the persistence and the importance of helping each other.”
  • “community and acceptance”.
  • “overcoming fear with love.”
  • “that even I can have friends.”
  • “that I should be brave enough to make friends because I am just as valuable as other people are.”
  • “the things which I have learnt about myself.”

Why are these skills, primarily learnt in the camp, so important to them?

  • “Because I have been fighting with my illness for ten years and If I can not accept it, neither I can defeat it.”
  • “Because before camp I did not even know that other people do exist with similar problems to mine and the other campers gave me strength by that.”
  • “Because before camp I only thought that I can only make myself a nuisance to other people.”
  • “Because I thought I am the only one with this illness.”
  • “Because it gave me a new perspective.”
  • “Because I will need for these skills until the end of my life.”
  • “Because these skills are constant parts of every steps of my life.”
  • “Because at camp I realized how it really feels when the others do accept me, even if I am not healthy and have some problems.”

Bátor Tábor does provide on a long-term as well significant help to children with severe illnesses because it gives them such abilities which help them finding their place in life and become healthy adults.


Youth Impact Study: SeriousFun Children’s Network Oversample conducted by the American Camp Association and the University of Utah

Research report / Papp Zsuzsanna – Semmelweis University of Budapest, Institute of Mental Health