Camp Cool

    Activities camp for young chronic kidney patients

    Publication date: 01 January 2011

    Camp COOL is organised by the COOL Foundation. COOL stands for Communicatie (Communication), Ontplooiing (Self-development), Ontmoeting (Meeting) and Lol (Fun), and is an activities camp for chronic kidney patients between the ages of 16 and 25.


    Project description

    During this camp week, adolescents with an end-stage renal disease learn skills to deal independently with their condition, learning both from each other and together. The camp also aims to support adolescents in developing independence during the transition period from childhood to adulthood, both within and outside of healthcare.

    Two reasons why Camp COOL is a unique concept

    1. The buddy-participant concept: adolescents who have participated in the camp before and have already transitioned to adult care lead the camp.
    2. Adolescents are referred by a health-care provider from the hospital, and are not required to be a part of a patient organisation.

    Up until now, the adolescents' experiences and appreciation and the effect the camp has had on their independence and social participation had not been systematically assessed. For this reason, an evaluation of Camp COOL was performed.


    Research aims

    The Camp COOL programme aims to help young Dutch people with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) develop self-management skills. Fellow patients already treated in adult care (hereafter referred to as 'buddies') organise the day-to-day program, run the camp, counsel the attendees, and also participate in the activities. The attendees are young people who still have to transfer to adult care. This study aimed to explore the effects of this specific form of peer-to-peer support on the self-management of young people (16-25 years) with ESRD who participated in Camp COOL (CC) (hereafter referred to as 'participants').


    A mixed methods research design was employed. Semi-structured interviews (n = 19) with initiators/staff, participants, and healthcare professionals were conducted. These were combined with retrospective and pre-post surveys among participants (n = 62), and observations during two camp weeks.