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PCFLV campers ‘round up’ summer fun


Special to The Press

Camp Smile gave happy campers ages 4 to 15 plenty to smile about at the annual event hosted by the Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley at Muhlenberg College’s Moyer Hall.

Held the week of June 19-23, the day camps provided local kids battling cancer and their siblings, along with children who have lost a sibling to cancer a chance to play games, work on arts and crafts, swim, and participate in theater.

“We have 30 campers. We have 24 counselors, and we have two camp nurses,” PCFLV Program Coordinator and Camp Director Kris Buss said.

She mentioned that several of the counselors are former campers.

While not a former camper, Riley Petronio has served as a Camp Smile counselor since 2018.

The 2023 Parkland High School graduate is headed for West Virginia University to major in criminology.

“This year’s theme is the ‘Wild West,’” remarked Buss, with some of the daily activities reflecting the ‘Wild West’ theme.

The children painted ceramic cactuses, created bandanna wreaths, and were visited by miniature horses and cows from the Mini Moos Petting Zoo, as well as having “Woody and Jessie” characters from “Toy Story” dropping by.

“It is a week where our PCFLV kids get to be just kids. They get to form bonds, have fun and make memories,” PCFLV Marketing, Community Relations and Development Coordinator Tracy Stauffer said. “And our staff is so proud of the fact that we are able to provide Camp Smile to our families for free.”

Funding for Camp Smile is provided by corporate sponsors, grants and donations.

The Pediatric Cancer Foundation of the Lehigh Valley, 2132 S. 12th St., Suite 401, Allentown, provides free programming and services to local children with cancer and their families.

For more information, call 484-221-9294 or go to pcflv.org.

PRESS PHOTOS BY ED COURRIER Pediatric Cancer Foundation of Lehigh Valley Program Coordinator and Camp Director Kris Buss stands with camper Annie, 9, by Camp Smile's craft tent June 22. Annie is a fourth grader at Parkway Manor Elementary.
Flanked by campers in the theater class inside Egner Memorial Chapel is counselor Riley Petronio. Corbin and Kadyn, both 13, and students at Eyer Middle School; Petronio, Parkland High student Amina, 15, and Julia, 12, from Lower Macungie Middle School. They and fellow theater campers were rehearsing, “The Wild Western Treasure,” an original play they wrote together.
McCoy, 8, has fun at the cornhole station. She is a second grader at Parkway Manor Elementary.
Lexi, 11, soon a student at Springhouse Middle School, and her camp buddy Leslie, 10, from Eyer Middle School, stand atop the balanced bean bag toss station at Camp Smile inside Moyer Hall.