YOUNG ADULT CONFERENCE (YAC) FAQ
One of the goals of Camp Mak-A-Dream is to provide inclusive programs in a safe and supportive environment for everyone regardless of race, religion, age, class, gender identity and/or sexual orientation.
What is YAC?
The Young Adult Conference (YAC) is a unique program designed for young adults that have been diagnosed with cancer. YAC offers a place for these young people to meet, learn, share and have fun.
Who attends YAC?
Participants come from all over the United States and Canada. The number of participants per session is approximately 40-50. About 40% of the participants have previously attended Camp.
What kind of medical support exists at Camp?
Every session has a dedicated medical staff led by a physician. Our health center is a stand-out facility where we administer cancer treatments and can even isolate patients when medically necessary. They review medical information about each camper so that they are able to provide the best possible care. The role of the medical staff is non-intrusive to the daily activities at Camp but they are available 24 hours a day to address the needs of the campers.
Can I come even if I am in the midst of treatment?
Yes. Our medical team is able to administer advanced treatment such as oral chemo therapy IV antibiotics, and blood tests. For emergencies, we have a helicopter pad and access to the regional cancer center in Missoula.
What are the facilities like at Camp Mak-A-Dream?
Camp Mak-A-Dream is located in a small ranching community at the foot of the Flint Mountains. Although the Lodge is nestled in the hills, amongst incredible Montana scenery, it is not a rustic camp. We have beautiful modern cabins, an art studio, health center and main lodge. In addition, there is a swimming pool (seasonal), hot tub, archery range, climbing wall, sports fields, and zip line. Camp Mak-A-Dream is a smoke-free facility.
Where will I sleep?
Participants stay in one of 4 large cabins, each of which sleeps 14-20 people comfortably, in two community sleeping rooms. There is a common area with a fireplace and kitchenette and each sleeping room has a handicap-accessible bathroom (with two stalls and two showers). All of the cabins are located relatively close to the lodge/dining room. 1-3 staff members (concierges) will sleep in a separate room in the cabin to make sure that participants have what they need throughout their stay.
What and where do we eat?
Meals are provided in the main lodge at large round tables in a community atmosphere. Food is abundant, nutritious and is served buffet style. Snacks are also available in participant cabins. For those who require vegetarian or other dietary alternatives, we ask you to outline those needs on your registration form and we will do our best to accommodate special needs.
What activities are offered at Camp?
Camp offers many opportunities for outdoor recreation. Swimming, field sports, ropes course & climbing wall, hiking, fishing, horseback riding and archery are some of the activities offered. Campers also enjoy spending time in the art studio working on projects ranging from tie-dye to pottery to jewelry making. During the evening we plan special events such as pool parties and dances designed to enhance community and friendship
Will I have an opportunity to see much of Montana, (off camp property)?
We usually spend one day participating in an off campus activity. We may visit the water park in Missoula or mine for sapphires and attend a live theatre performance in historic Philipsburg.
Do participants get a chance to talk about cancer?
Most days we schedule Cabin and/or Fireside Chats which are special times set aside for participants to talk and share in a safe and supportive environment. During these chats,participants have the opportunity, if they choose, to share their feelings, thoughts and experiences about living with cancer. We also believe, however, that Camp Mak-A-Dream is a place for participants to get away from cancer for a short while and experience new friendships, opportunities and challenges.
How does YAC differ from the other camp sessions?
Seeing that YAC is a conference for adults we offer a number of educational workshops in addition to numerous recreational opportunities. Workshops covering such topics as relationships, coping with grief and loss, nutrition, exercise and navigating the health care system may be offered. The program is packed with opportunities to learn and have fun and although we encourage participants to take advantage of scheduled activities, attendance is not required. Late night, participants are free to soak in the hot tub, work in the art studio, watch movies or play pool in the recreation room. Although activities vary at each conference, we always make sure to provide a varied program, giving participants plenty of options.
Who makes up the Camp Mak-A-Dream staff?
Our first priority at Camp Mak-A-Dream is the safety and well-being of each camper. Along with the Gold Creek facility, Camp Mak-A Dream has a main office located in Missoula, Montana. In addition to a Board of Directors, nine full-time employees work year-round fundraising, bookkeeping, planning programs, managing rental groups and recruiting campers and staff. A large number of qualified applicants apply each year to come to work at Camp Mak-A-Dream over the summer. This group is made up of paid full time staff and weekly volunteers. People from all walks of life join us; teachers, retirees, counselors, social workers, students, nurses, homemakers and doctors to name just a few. Qualified staff members and volunteers assist in every area of camp; from meal preparation, to running program activities. Staff is available 24 hours a day to offer encouragement and support. Their role is to provide a safe, comfortable setting, in which participants can make the most of their time at camp. All prospective staff members participate in an extensive application and interview process to ensure the safety and care of our participants.
How much does it cost to attend Camp Mak-A-Dream?
Once you arrive, Camp is completely cost free, however, transportation costs to and from Missoula (once you arrive, we will transport you to and from the camp facility) are the responsibility of each participant. Travel assistance may be available for first time participants. Applications for Travel Scholarships are available on our website or by contacting our office.
How do I apply?
Applications are available on the "Apply" page of this website. Applications are accepted once the upcoming season is posted. All applications are reviewed by our selection committee to determine the applicant’s eligibility. Applications are accepted once the upcoming season is posted. All applications are reviewed by our selection committee to determine the applicant’s eligibility. Applications are accepted on a first come, first serve basis with consideration being given to the applicant’s current stage of therapy and whether or not the participant has previously attended Camp. Applicants who have attended Camp Mak-A-Dream three or more times will be put on a waiting list. Anyone selected from the waiting list will be notified at least 30 days prior to the camp session. If you are requesting travel assistance, Travel Scholarship applications are also available on our website or by contacting our office and may be submitted with your application to attend the session.