Our goal at the end of the Teen Heads Up Conference is to send participants home with new tools and resources to help them deal with the challenges of being a brain tumor survivor. For this reason there is a strong educational component. There are daily educational workshops focusing on various topics, including educational challenges, peer to peer relationships, and how a brain tumor can affect the way a person thinks. Professionals from around the country, including a neuropsychologist, social worker and employment specialist, lead these sessions and are available to answer individual questions and concerns throughout the week. In addition, each day we schedule Small Group and Fireside Chats which are times set aside for participants to talk and share in a safe, supportive environment. During these chats we use role plays to address specific issues and participants have the opportunity to share their feelings, thoughts and experiences about being a brain tumor survivor.
During Teen HUC we make sure that there is time for participants to get out and have some fun. Safety is our first priority at camp. Our summer and volunteer staff is carefully vetted and trained. Activities are inclusive and campers are encouraged but not required to participate. Golf carts and wheelchairs are available to ensure that participants can get around campus easily. Camp offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation. Swimming, field sports, zip line, climbing wall, hiking, fishing, horseback riding and archery are just some of the onsite activities. Teen HUC participants also get an opportunity to challenge themselves on the high ropes course. Campers will enjoy spending time in the rec room playing fuse ball or ping pong and in the art studio working on projects ranging from tie-dye to pottery. We offer free choice most days to our teen campers so that they have the freedom to participate in the activities they choose. Each week we host local presenters sharing their knowledge and talents with the campers. Activities may include theatre games, yoga and drumming, silk painting and cartooning. In the evening we plan special events designed to enhance community and friendship. In the course of a week campers may enjoy a Hawaiian pool party, Carnival Night, Olympic Games and a Hollywood themed dance. In addition to our on campus activities, we may take a field trip or get involved with a community service project. In the past participants have created their own Public Service Announcements, hosted a carnival for underserved children, mined sapphires in historic Philipsburg and made lunch at a homeless shelter in Missoula. We finish off our week with a banquet dinner, slide show and talent show where campers are encouraged to showcase their talents in front of a supportive audience.