ECCO’s summer camp for children with heart diseases is action-packed; rappelling, fire eating and a close encounter with bird spiders, snakes and cockroaches are just some of the activities designed to invite the children to challenge their comfort zones. 33 children from all parts of Denmark are spending week 32 at ECCO’s Conference Centre in Tønder, Denmark, to network, break down boundaries, and strengthen their self-esteem.
As they run around at ECCO’s headquarters in Tønder, Denmark, they look like any group of regular teenagers. They laugh, poke each other, and rarely sit still even just for a moment. However, behind the smiling faces lies a frightening common denominator which ties them all together: a serious heart condition. At first glance, a child with a heart disease is no different from other children. However, they are often subject to limitations which others may not have. While their symptoms differ, the reality is that the children have to take their disease into consideration in their everyday lives. Therefore, the ECCO summer camp offers the campers an opportunity to meet peers who struggle with some of the same difficulties as they experience.
Confidence and empowerment
An important element of the four-day camp is for the children to explore their own boundaries. To have the confidence to push their boundaries, when they want to – and to find the courage say ‘no’, when they have had enough. “This summer camp is a unique opportunity for the children to spend some together in settings which make them feel like they have checked into a hotel. Although they come from all parts of Denmark, they form beautiful friendships which they are able to hold on to after they go back. But most importantly, the feedback from last year’s campers revealed that they feel confident and empowered after having participated in the camp,” explains Anne Kaltoft, managing director of the Danish Heart Foundation.
Growing friendships and creating memories
ECCO’s cooperation with the Danish Heart Foundation has grown out of the ECCO walkathons, which are annual fundraising walks sponsored by ECCO. Part of the proceeds from ECCO’s walkathons goes to the Danish Heart Foundation. Most of the money is spent on research, but last year, a summer camp was added to the programme. “ECCO’s partnership with the Danish Heart Foundation is very rewarding to us. Children with heart diseases face some difficult challenges, and we welcome the opportunity to offer these children a week where they can explore new things and simply enjoy themselves. The money raised at the ECCO Walkathons makes a difference. Every step really does count,” says ECCO CEO Steen Borgholm.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the ECCO Walkathons. The event is held in 4 major Danish cities. Find more information and sign up here: https://walkathon.ecco.com/
ECCO is one of the world’s leading shoe brands, combining style and comfort. ECCO’s success is built on products with a great fit and top-quality leathers. ECCO is a highly responsible company that owns and manages every aspect of the value chain from leather and shoe manufacturing to wholesale and retail activities. ECCO’s products are sold in 99 countries from over 2,250 ECCO shops and more than 14,000 sales points. ECCO is family-owned, founded in Denmark in 1963, and employs 21,300 people worldwide.