By Jordan Ingram, Senior Account Executive
When a child receives a cancer diagnosis, their life as they know it – as well as their entire family’s – is put on hold, while treatment takes over as the family’s #1 priority. These children and families affected by childhood cancer are jolted into, and forced to adapt to, a new reality in which they often find themselves lacking the emotional support, and a genuine understanding of what they’re going through, that they need. Because these families are now typically spending more time in the hospital than their own homes, completely stripped of normalcy, sometimes all they want is one day away from their new reality.
That’s why Northwestern Mutual’s Foundation* created the Ultimate Campout Fighting Childhood Cancer. The annual sleepover event was recently held at Titletown, a new development neighboring Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin. For the second year in a row, Northwestern Mutual delivered a one-of-a-kind experience through which these families made connections, shared experiences and created unforgettable memories with people who can relate to the obstacles they’ve faced or are facing.
Hundreds of children fighting cancer, survivors and loved ones came together to live out a classic childhood pastime with a twist by camping out on the field at Titletown. They played on a huge playground, made arts and crafts, toured behind-the-scenes of Lambeau Field, watched a big screen movie, made s’mores around a campfire and finally, fell asleep under the stars. Green Bay Packers legend Donald Driver – who lost his father and best friend to the disease – joined in on the cause by running football drills with the campers, teaching some end-zone dances, and bringing so much laughter to the families throughout the day.
Most importantly, participants were able to just be kids for a day, with their only worry being not getting enough s’mores.
Northwestern Mutual launched its Childhood Cancer Program in 2012 and has since provided more than $20 million in funding to the cause, resulting in over 240,000 hours of research; The Foundation created this now annual camp experience last year as a way to give back to these families beyond research funding, and to make an immediate, direct impact on their lives.
Through the Ultimate Campout, Northwestern Mutual showcases how brands can make a positive and immediate impact on real peoples’ lives at the individual level by providing a meaningful experience to people who need it most. The Ultimate Campout is a powerful example of a social impact campaign with a simple objective that gets back to basics: to bring joy and support to families in need.
*Cone/Porter Novelli client