Courageous young Houstonians battling cancer were recently treated to a summer glamping getaway, courtesy of the Four Seasons Hotel Houston and The University of Texas MD Anderson Children’s Cancer Hospital.
The retreat, appropriately dubbed Camp H-Town, provides an annual, fun sleep-away experience for pediatric cancer patients and their siblings — ages nine to 12 — at no cost to their families. The hotel converts an entire floor into a “campground” with bunk beds and camping gear, in which the campers stay four nights — under the supervision of medical staff from MD Anderson and local volunteers.
This year’s camp theme was “Reach for the Stars” inspired by the 50th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. Highlights included a day at NASA Johnson Space Center; a visit from former NASA astronaut Fred Haise, who shared stories and photos from his Apollo 13 mission; attending an Astros game at Minute Maid Park; and a visit to the Houston Museum of Natural Science.
The children also enjoyed a special prom night with dinner and a dance party at the House of Blues, which included wardrobe, hair, and makeup provided by Dress for Success and Full Blown; a boat ride at Lakewood Yacht Club; pool party at Market Square Tower; pajama movie night; and daily art, music, and yoga classes.
This is the second year for Camp H-Town, which is put on by Four Seasons general manager Tom Segesta. “Our goal with Camp H-Town was to provide these children with a worry-free environment where they could just enjoy themselves and have fun,” Segesta explains. “Camp H-Town gives the campers a chance to build relationships, make new friendships, explore our great city and just be kids.”
Segesta and his wife, Robin, started a similar urban oncology camp in Chicago. Upon moving to Houston, the couple ensured they would start a camp at Four Seasons that would positively impact more children and teenagers living with cancer.