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A blanket statement of comfort

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On March 28, Brownie Girl Scout Troop 52486 and Cadet Girl Scout Troop 51120 gathered together for a special purpose. The girls were there for Camp Saint Ambrose. At this indoor camp, the girls learned of another special camp called Camp Oasis.

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They watched an introductory video that instructed them about the camp and its purpose. Camp Oasis is a regional camp in which children who suffer from Crohn's Disease and Colitis are invited to experience the joy of going to camp.

For many of the campers, it is their first time away from home and a chance to feel like any other normal child.

Many of the campers take multiple medications and need constant medical care. Many of the campers have not had the physical capabilities to be active.

As the Girl Scouts learned, Crohn's Disease and Colitis are disorders in which the gastrointestinal tract is hampered. It can be a painful disease. It can be an embarrassing disease. It is also very common.

Nearly 500,000 people suffer from Crohn's or Colitis. For children, it is a disease that frequently sets them apart from their peers. That empathy was felt during the gathering.

The girls participated in a mini-camp modeled after the activities being offered at Camp Oasis. They put on skits, played silly games, ran an obstacle course, had hot dogs, and roasted s'mores over an indoor fire--sterno cans.

After camp, the girls got busy on what really gathered them together. Each of the troops had donated 25 percent of their cookie profits to purchase fleece blanket supplies. The girls sang as they cut and tied 50 blankets. The blankets were lovingly tied and cheered over. The thought of a child snuggling up to a comfy blanket while away at Camp Oasis warmed many hearts.

Nearly a month later, the troops were invited to present their blankets at a convention for the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation held at the Ramada Inn Bloomington.

The convention participants ranged from patients, parents, caregivers and physicians, to support organizations.

Representatives from each of the troops presented the fifty blankets and a signed poster to the camp coordinator for Camp Oasis. Two girls spoke to the convention describing the service project.

For more information about these illnesses and the non-profit Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, visit www.ccfa.org.

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