Quality time
Maria Shull of Warrensburg, Mo., and Rachelle  Bailey of Barnard, Mo., were co-companions of Isabel, a 7-year-old girl who spent a good deal of her time at Camp Quality last week dyeing her hair pink every morning and participating in all the water activities she could. Camp Quality of Northwest Missouri is a camp for children with cancer that takes place at Camp Farwesta in Stewartsville, Mo. The camp is the first of its kind in the United States.

STEWARTSVILLE, Mo.— Loud and long sirens blared while emergency response vehicles circled Camp Quality in Stewartsville last week. At a summer camp for children with cancer, hearing any alarms could be frightening. But Wednesday was designated “Law Enforcement Day,” which means that half a dozen public safety officials basically let the children go wild with the horns and PA system in their vehicles.

While one cruiser slowed, a young boy’s voice blasted through the speakers, commanding a group of nursing students from North Central Missouri College to put their hands up. Several in the group laughed and raised their arms in obedience as they were leaving the camp to return to Maryville.

Tiffany Rowlett, who is studying to be an LPN at North Central, said she had never been to the camp. The group traveled to Stewartsville to observe how the children got along and offer help as needed. While they were there, Rowlett said she didn’t expect to see so many children, and so many of them having a good time.

“They are having a blast,” said Brandy Lisenbee of Rosendale, who is also a nursing student at North Central.

“It’s amazing how much the camp takes their issues off their minds,” added Rachael Myers, also of Rosendale and a nursing student.

Myers and Lisenbee reported this after admitting that they imagined the place to have a more somber feel to it.

“It’s hard to explain this to people,” said Jan Moutray of Barnard.

Read the full story that was published June 21, 2016 in the Maryville Daily Forum, a daily newspaper in Maryville, Missouri.

Photo credit: Jennifer Ditlevson Haglund