Childrens Oncology Services Inc

aka Camp One Step   |   Chicago, IL   |  www.camponestep.org

Mission

Camp One Step by Children’s Oncology Services is a leader in providing empowering, supportive, educational and fun experiences for children (5-19) who have been diagnosed with cancer. We are the only local organization to offer 11 different programs throughout the year serving children and families who live in Illinois, Wisconsin and throughout the Midwest. Thanks to our 400 annual volunteers, including medical professionals, serving children who are in different stages of treatment have the ability to attend our Camp One Step programs. For more than 40 years, our organization has served more than 16,500 campers. WE EMPOWER KIDS WHO HAVE CANCER, ENCOURAGING THEM TO TAKE ON THE WORLD!

Ruling year info

1999

President

Mr. Jeff Infusino

Main address

213 West Institute Place Suite 306

Chicago, IL 60610 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

36-4263831

NTEE code info

Cancer (G30)

Pediatrics (G98)

Philanthropy / Charity / Voluntarism Promotion (General) (T50)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Each year in our country, approximately 16,000 children receive news of a pediatric cancer diagnosis. Right now hundreds of children in the Chicagoland area and suburbs are living with cancer, and thousands of children from throughout Illinois, Wisconsin and the Midwest have been diagnosed as well. These children often face devastating problems such as isolation from friends and school, and negative social, emotional and developmental consequences. While doctors focus on treating the disease, Camp One Step by Children's Oncology Services exists to heal the often invisible scars that no one can see: Fear, isolation, loss of identity, loss of childhood, loss of hope, broken dreams and the feeling of no longer fitting in. Through community, support and shared experiences with peers, we deliver happy, pain free medicine called “camp".

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Utah Ski Program

The Utah Ski Program is a one week skiing and winter sports program for children ages 10 to 19. With the instruction of certified adaptive ski instructors from the National Ability Center (NAC) and the encouragement and support from our One Step volunteers, campers travel to Park City, Utah. Many of these campers have physical or cognitive disabilities associated with their cancers or treatments. Working with the coaches, the children will challenge themselves in new ways -- building that confidence as they learn new skills and achieve their goals. All adaptive ski equipment is provided by the NAC.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

The weekend-long Chicago Day Camp is ideal for the child (ages 5-10) who may not be ready to experience a week away from home. Campers are able to get a taste of camp and expereince the fun of One Step programs while still sleeping in their own beds each night. Activities have included trips to the Chicago Children's Museum, Shedd Aquarium, and other city favorites.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The Washington DC Program lets high school students with cancer learn about government and become empowered as survivors.

Students get an insider’s look at our government in action, as they spend a week in our nation’s capital participating in seminars, meeting with Congressional leaders and touring Washington’s landmarks, museums, and monuments.

Students will be inspired as they develop a true understanding of our democracy and realize the power and responsibility they have as citizens and cancer survivors. Particular attention will be paid to the issues that affect them the most, including health insurance eligibility, educational opportunities, employment bias and long term health considerations.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Brain Tumor Family Camp provides an enjoyable break for families who have a child diagnosed with a brain tumor, while also addressing their unique needs.

Population(s) Served
Families

Sibling Camp is a great opportunity for children (ages 10-19) to bond with peers who understand what its like to have a sibling with cancer. This program is for the sibling(s) of a child whom is a patient or survivor. Camp comes complete with games, activities, campfires, music and more.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Located on beautiful Lake Geneva in Williams Bay, Wisconsin, One Step Summer Camp offers a variety of fun and exciting camp opportunities for different age groups. Younger campers enjoy a traditional summer camp experience while special interest programs are offered for teenage campers.

Standard (Ages 7-10)
Standard Camp provides our youngest campers with a well-rounded, traditional camp experience. Days are filled with swimming, boating, hiking, arts and crafts, nature studies, cookouts, movies, sing-a-longs and an overnight campout under the stars. Standard Camp is all about fun and friendship.

Stepping Up (Ages 11-12)
Stepping Up offers preteen campers the chance to demonstrate independence and challenge themselves in new ways. Campers develop strong bonds as they learn basic camping skills that encourage responsibility, teamwork, problem solving and camaraderie.

All Camp Experience - ACE (Ages 13-16)
ACE allows campers to design their own camp experience. Campers choose from several specialized mini-camps that offer intense expert instruction in a variety of sporting and arts activities.

Campcraft (Ages 13-16)
Camp Craft is geared towards the 13-16 year old teen adventurer! We live, eat, learn and play outdoors. Camp Crafters sleep in tents that they pitch, eat food that they cook, and gather round the campfire every night to tell ghost stories, strum guitars, roast marshmallows and bond over the day’s events. In camp craft, lasting friendships are built through teamwork, togetherness, and a true love for the outdoors.

Excursion (Ages 13-16)
Excursion is designed for campers with a love of travel and adventure. Campers log many miles visiting exciting destinations throughout Illinois and Wisconsin. Recent trips have been made to the Wisconsin Dells and Navy Pier in Chicago. Campers also participate in traditional camp activities.

Water Sports (Ages 13-16)
Water Sports is for campers with a strong interest in aquatic activities who wish to build confidence and comradery. The first week of Water Sports focuses primarily on SCUBA training with a goal of certification. Second week gives campers the opportunity to explore other water based activities such as water skiing, canoeing, paddle boarding, and kayaking. We have the ability to provide adaptive alternatives for all activities.

EXCEL (Ages 17-19)
EXCEL is for young adults who want to Experience Excellence and Challenge at Every Level (EXCEL). EXCEL campers take away important social, leadership, and problem-solving skills that allow them to thrive as young adults, while having the opportunity to enjoy their remaining opportunity to be a camper.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

The Seabees Leadership Program is a one week program for former campers 20 years old and up who have limitations due to their disease or treatment. Guided by facilitators, this program focuses on personal growth through achievement and service to the camp.

The Seabees Leadership Program allows these former campers to stay involved with their camp, maintain friendships and give back to camp and the campers. Acting as role models and mentors to the younger campers while at camp, Seabees also continue their involvement throughout the year by volunteering at fundraising events and assisting with administration projects.

Population(s) Served
Young adults

This adaptive program (Ages 15-19) focuses on building survival skills through a variety of activities, including whitewater rafting, a ropes course with high and low elements, rock climbing, fire building, campsite cooking, and tent living. Through this adventure, campers learn to work together to accomplish a variety of goals within the program.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

The Dude Ranch Program gives campers the chance to have an authentic experience like no other -- living, working and participating in real ranch life. Campers learn horsemanship, as they brush, saddle, and then ride 2-3 times a day. We take campers ages 11-16 with all levels of experience, from those who have never touched a horse to experienced riders.

Population(s) Served
Children and youth

Family Camp is a fun, getaway weekend for families who have a child diagnosed with cancer. This program gives families the opportunity to bond with both each other, and with other families who have a child diagnosed with a cancer.

Population(s) Served
Families

Campers (ages 13-19) get together to rekindle their friendships during five days of skiing, snowboarding, tubing and tobogganing. The indoor fun includes swimming, arts and crafts and games.

Population(s) Served
Adolescents

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our mission is to meet the unique needs of children and teens diagnosed with cancer while providing them with a fun and challenging camp experience, and bringing them together with their peers in a safe, nurturing environment outside a hospital setting. The main goals of our programming include:

1. To offer a variety of quality activities to meet the physical, emotional and social needs of children and adolescents diagnosed with cancer
2. To serve an increased number of campers each year
3. To continue offering highly subsidized camp programs, and to waive the small suggested program fee for those in financial need.
Our programs empower children to find new hope by offering:
• Diversion from their illness
• Activities which foster feelings of empowerment, support and confidence
• Opportunities for success and control – camp focuses on what children “can do"
• Friendship and unconditional acceptance from those who understand• Information, answers and validation
• Reasons to adopt a positive, “fighting" attitude
• Something to look forward to each year … children tell us they" live for camp"
• Memories that comfort when times are hard and offer hope for the future
Furthermore, One Step programs were developed to promote inclusion so that children diagnosed with cancer can participate. A number of our campers have cognitive impairments or physical disabilities due to their disease or treatment, such as those confined to wheelchairs or children who have had limbs amputated, so we provide adaptive equipment when possible to allow children to participate in different activities and sports. Furthermore, the status of a child's therapy or stage of illness rarely impacts their eligibility to participate, as our campers are typically either in active treatment, in remission, are no longer in treatment, or may be considered terminal patients. For children in remission, many continue to face physical and emotional challenges associated with their illness, so pediatric cancer survivors remain part of our community and are welcome to return year after year.

The objective of each program is to meet the unique needs of these children:

Physical Needs: Programming offers a “come as you are" attitude promoting acceptance of physical differences; interaction with others facing similar issues which teaches new coping skills and improves self-esteem relating to physical challenges; Activities for all energy and ability levels sets participants up for success (most activities can be modified for children with physical disabilities such as amputated limbs).

Emotional Needs: Programs offer informal interactions throughout to allow participants to exchange information, encouragement and coping strategies; Provides fun and challenging activities which are welcome diversions from health concerns; and offers a supportive environment supervised by trained volunteers that fosters encouragement, respect and support.

Social Needs: Programming that offers formats that reduce isolation and teach social skills and independence; Programming that promotes a sense of “belonging"; Opportunities for success which raise self-esteem; Programmatic choices that give participants a sense of control and leadership opportunities.

In order to meet our second goal of increasing our outreach and enrollment, our objective is to work with area hospitals, clinics and other partners to publicize the programs and make it available to as many children who wish to attend camp, up to the maximum space and funding capacity available. These medical professionals often come into regular contact with both newly diagnosed patients, as well as those in treatment maintenance programs, so they are key partners in helping us disseminate our information and connect with our target population that we wish to serve.

To meet our third goal, Children's Oncology Services remains committed to provide our programs at no cost to the children and families we serve. We do so because we understand that our families already often face a number of financial challenges relating to treatment and ongoing care expenses for their child. To ensure that we can provide our programs for free to our campers, we host several annual special events, as well as partner with generous individuals, corporations and foundations to broaden our base of support each year. Finally, working with our Board of Directors and volunteers, we continuously reach out to new funding partners each year in support of all Camp One Step programs, while looking to minimize expenses whenever possible.

Children's Oncology Services manages eleven different programs held throughout the year, in order to provide multiple opportunities to address the different needs of children diagnosed with cancer (and their family members through our Brain Tumor Family Camp, Family Camp and Sibling Camp), and has the support of more than 350 volunteers who donate their time each year serving as program leaders, counselors, support staff and medical volunteers.
Our current list of programs includes:
Summer Camp (ages 7-19+)
Dude Ranch Program (ages 11 – 16)
Seabees (ages 20+)
Utah Ski Program (ages 10 – 19)
Winter Camp (ages 13 – 19)
Washington D.C. Program (High school age) Held every other year
Utah Adventure Program (ages 15 – 19)
Brain Tumor Family Camp (ages vary)
Family Camp (for children and families)
Sibling Camp (for siblings of cancer patients and survivors)
Chicago Day Camp (ages 5 -10)
To ensure we can meet the medical and health care needs of our campers during programs, our Co-Medical Directors and Medical Committee work to ensure that twenty-four (24) hour medical coverage is provided at camp. Health care professionals are recruited annually to volunteer their time and provide medical assistance when required (provide blood counts, administer chemotherapy, provide general care, etc.). Several of our medical volunteers work for The Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago, The University of Chicago, and Children's Hospital of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and they also frequently refer campers to our programs. Children's Oncology Services, Inc. also has a small staff, an Advisory Council, and Board of Directors that help direct our annual fundraising, outreach and marketing efforts. To promote program opportunities, members of our staff and key volunteers meet quarterly with health care partners and hospital/medical staff in the community who can refer children and volunteers to our programs. We also send special mailings, brochures (written in English and Spanish), eblasts, our website, Facebook and Twitter to increase awareness for our programs and camper enrollment. In order to ensure we can provide our programs at no cost to families and raise funds required to support all programs, we host special events such as a dinner gala in the fall and charity poker event in the winter, benefit from third party run events, as well as solicit annual support from thousands of individuals, corporations and foundations.

With support from our camper families, volunteers, and Board of Directors, the management team has implemented a number of initiatives to expand our outreach, fundraising and marketing efforts. Our organization has achieved a number of key achievements over the past few years including an average of 8-10% camper enrollment growth each year, an increased number of volunteers joining the organization thanks to hospital and community outreach efforts as well as through VolunteerMatch.com, newly formed partnerships with local hospitals, health clinics and other health based organizations which refer campers to our programs, and the development of both new and existing relationships with individual, corporate, third party and foundation partners which have allowed our fundraising efforts to grow annually by 15% or more. We also formed a partnership with Conference Point Center in Williams Bay, WI where several of our programs are held, and the move to this new location has allowed us access to a higher number of beds needed to serve an increased number of campers, while providing a more authentic, rustic camp atmosphere in which to hold our programs, as well as all needed amenities to serve our children and families. In addition, we partnered with Conference Point Center to support the construction of their new youth and family lodge which was completed in July 2018, and now provides us access to more camper beds, more handicap accessible bathrooms, a permanent space to use for our Medical Office during camp sessions, a storage area, and an elevator to be used by campers and volunteers who need assistance with stairs. Finally, we launched a new website, as well as our new brand and logo for Camp One Step by Children's Oncology Services in 2018, which has been well received by our camp community and the general public. As we look ahead, we will continue to identify new partners to support our mission to deliver exceptional camp experiences to children who have been diagnosed with cancer, and their families. We are committed to continuing to reach and serve more campers each year, expand our volunteer base to support our programs, and strengthen our relationships with our generous supporters, to ensure that any child who wants to and needs our programs can attend future camp programs.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    Children who have been diagnosed with cancer and their families.

  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    SMS text surveys, Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings/Town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc.) advisory committees,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    In 2021, we established a Parent Council and Camper Council. We meet with them four times per year to access our performance, work on new strategies and test communication initiatives. In one of our communication discussions, we learned that our parents were receiving so many emails for our organization and others that it was difficualt to track what was from COS. It was suggested that we have a Camp One Step app for families to access. The app is launching in July of 2022.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    With the formation of the Parent and Camper Councils, Volunteer forums, Town Halls, Equity and Inclusion Working Group, etc., Our community becomes an active participant in the our decisions and strategies moving forward.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

Childrens Oncology Services Inc
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Childrens Oncology Services Inc

Board of directors
as of 03/18/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Jon Leiman

North Branch Capital

Dan Bernstein

WSCR Radio

Bill Strotman

Robert W. Baird & Co.

Chris Eilers

Raymond James

Brian Gryll

Charles R. Gryll, Ltd.

Jeff Infusino

Children's Oncology Services, Inc.

Jon Leiman

North Branch Capital, LLC

Stuart Lissner

Apex Fundamental Partners, LLC.

Jennifer Schneiderman, MD, MS

Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

Mary Ann Strotman

Janel Huston

Raymond James

Jan Kuklenski

Kevin Caceres

PwC

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Not applicable

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/18/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 09/27/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.