By Marianne Mueller


Campers held a bake sale as one of three fundraisers to help Pink Heals in their mission for all who are fighting cancer.

Youth at Camp BeRo gave back in a big way during 2021 camp season

After Camp counselor Jessica Green spoke to campers about the Pink Heals program, it was chosen as this year’s service project. Green has been a volunteer with Pink Heals since 2014. 

Pink Heals; Winnebago County, Ill. Chapter is a nonprofit 501(c) 3 organization that raises awareness and funds to help those who are fighting cancer in the communities they serve. Pink Heals has been at numerous events since they first started. The color pink is used to represent women and their families rather than one specific disease. Their color of pink doesn’t represent breast cancer. Men, women and children are given support in a fight against any type of cancer.

Knowing the good work that is done by Pink Heals, 14 regular Camp BeRo attendees went to work on different fundraisers to enable donations to come in. 

Money from the first fundraiser came in from “Penny Wars” where change was collected. Pennies were counted as positive; silver coins and dollars were considered negative. All of the money brought in was added up. As a reward youth from the top two fundraising camp groups were allowed to soak their counselors by dumping buckets full of cold water on them.  

A car wash was held where Pink Heals brought their squad car out for a good cleaning along with others from the public.  A bake sale earned more money to be added to the overall donation. 

Funds totaling $1,100 were presented on Wednesday, Aug. 2 at the camp with all money going to Pink Heals. 

“I am grateful to have had the opportunity to be a counselor for Camp BeRo this summer; and raising money for Pink Heals was the most humbling part of the whole experience,” Green said. 

“Working alongside the campers to plan and to carry out these fundraisers was not only fun for us, but also hugely rewarding for them and Pink Heals. I think it is so important to encourage youth to serve their community and to help others. I hope that our work with Pink Heals inspires them to serve others throughout their lives.”

Green adds, “As both their BeRo counselor and a volunteer with Pink Heals, I am proud to know that our efforts will help support people in their fight against cancer.”

One of the past service projects done at Camp BeRo gave loving support to former Whitman Post Elementary School Special Education teacher, Kris Grahnke who had ALS. Youth at Camp BERO expanded fundraising efforts to help Grahnke and others like him by donating $1,180 to be used toward research, and care options, which is only one step in this process. Grahnke is greatly missed today but these ongoing actions have left a positive effect on everyone. 

Camp BeRo has been around for over 13 years and its main headquarters are the Greater Rockton Community Center. Prior camp names that were used are YOLO and LIT.

The kids partake in many activities during the camp day, including everything from opening ceremonies, journal time, STEM activities and group games. Youth also had a lemonade stand at the Rockton Fire Department this summer. Extra fun is had when they swim at Walt Williamson Pool on Tuesdays and Thursdays. 

Camp hours are 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., but they are open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Camp BeRo has 14 camp counselors on staff that is available from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m.

Ages of camp BeRo participants run from 10-14 years old. 

“Our Camps mission is to help raise awareness on all topics, give guidance to the campers, help them show care, responsibility, honesty, kindness and support,” SAC and Summer Camp Coordinator; Stateline Family YMCA, Tonia Mason said. 

Mason adds, “This will be my 17th year of Summer Camp, each year the counselors and campers impress me more and more. This year, I had the privilege of hiring three former campers as camp counselors…talk about a full circle.”

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