About Us

Camp Rise Above is a unique non-profit organization that provides fun, life changing camp experiences to children with serious illnesses, life challenges, and disabilities. We believe all children deserve to experience the magic of childhood, regardless of their medical status.

The phrase we live by says it best: “Giving children strength for the journey.”

We currently offer many programs for our campers and families throughout the year. All of our programs are provided free of charge so we don’t add to the financial hardship many families already face.

CRA @ the Hospital

Since 2011, we have been transforming playrooms and hallways into day camp environments at children’s hospitals around South Carolina. With games, arts and crafts, volunteers, music, and more, we provide a fun break from the mundane routine children and siblings face during hospital stays. The camp keeps their minds off their treatments for that moment in time, giving them a lasting cherished memory. Since the beginning of our program we have served over 1,700 children with a wide variety of illnesses through our hospital camp programs.

Summer Day Camps

Each summer we provide 2-day camp sessions for children with serious medical illnesses and life challenges.  Since 2013 we have provided multiple camp sessions each year, serving children with heart and kidney diseases, craniofacial differences, sickle cell anemia, brain tumors, epilepsy, Tourette’s, traumatic brain injuries, asthma, cerebral palsy, and those facing life challenges such as living in group homes. We served more than 200 children in the summer of 2019, many of whom traveled from around the state.

Family Fun Days

Throughout the year we host events that provide opportunities for families to gather throughout the year to support one another while trying new things. Past events included a high ropes adventure, horseback riding, bowling, pumpkin patch fun, and more. Check our calendar to see upcoming dates!

To learn more about our programs, visit “Our Camps” page!

How we came to be

Barbara Van Thullenar Denton founded Camp Rise Above in 2008 during a weekly Bible study group. The group adopted her “impossible dream” of building and operating a Charleston area camp to serve the more than 58,000 children in SC with special medical needs. CRA has been operating ever since, offering high quality camp programs to hundreds of children each year.

Where we are going

We plan to build and operate a permanent camp facility with fully accessible cabins,  recreation building, climbing wall, high ropes course, and a state-of the-art medical facility. Each summer, we will invite children from different disease entities for weeklong, overnight camps. This campsite will be highly flexible and adaptable to the particular needs of each of the camp groups we will serve. The same site will host events for special needs children and their families throughout the year. Once we acquire the land for our future home, we look forward to building this incredible facility that will serve thousands of children each year.

In 2021, we will rent space from Camp Cole in Eastover, SC to provide overnight camps to our campers. This special site will allow us to safely offer week-long camps to our families while we continue to work towards our dream of a camp facility in the Lowcountry.

How we will get there

Camp Rise Above understands the depth of commitment and funding support required to make this dream for these children a reality. We rely on personal donations, corporate sponsorship, grant funding, and community partners to serve these incredible children. Consider supporting us and be part of giving children a life-changing camp experience!