A Letter From A Dad

Light the Way Vent Camp

Christmas Dinner Brightens Holiday for Patients and Families

Vent Kids of Alabama gathered together for the 12th annual Light the Way Vent Camp at Children’s Harbor’s Lake Martin campus in May 2015. Vent Kids of Alabama, a non-profit organization created by vent parent Kara Bishop in 2002, acts as a support group for families that have children living at home on ventilators. Vent families strive to give their children the best quality of life they can by focusing on the positive things the children can do instead of their limitations. Vent Kids of Alabama’s mission of “families helping families” could not be more evident than during the week at camp. The week-long camp is nothing short of fun for everyone involved.

Based on the premise that children on ventilators deserve to have the camp experience just like their peers, Light the Way Vent Camp was founded in 2004 as a non-traditional camping experience. Although packed with a lot of fun, every moment of the day is not scheduled and all activities that are planned focus on including the entire family. Families experience pool and lake time, boat rides, crafts, family nights, sibling support groups, parent support groups, optional one-on-one time with a licensed professional counselor, and of course food and fellowship.

I have been privileged to be a part of Light the Way Vent Camp for the past 8 summers. As a licensed professional counselor at Children’s Harbor Family Center at Children’s of Alabama, I am fortunate to walk with our vent families during both difficult times and times of great celebration.
—Liz Gunter, Children's Harbor Pulmonary Counselor

At camp, I’m an integral part of the team making the fun happen. My role as a counselor kicks into high gear because I get to provide one-on-one counseling in addition to various support groups with vent families in a camp setting. Making life fun for the campers is a team sport and involves the leadership and teamwork of everybody. In an effort to relieve Kara of some administrative burdens, this year Erin Kattus (pulmonary division social worker), Joy Hardy (pulmonary division child life specialist), and I worked with Kara to create a camp leadership team. Having the opportunity to share some of the responsibility that Kara has shouldered for the past 11 years, showed the families and Kara how much we love Light the Way Vent Camp.

Over the years, Kara’s tireless leadership has allowed the camp to grow and evolve to where this past May marked the largest Light the Way Vent Camp yet with 20 families and over 100 people – we reached full capacity! Plans are already in the works for May 2016 and I can’t wait.

For more information about Vent Kids of Alabama, including volunteer and fundraising opportunities, please contact Kara Bishop at (205) 370.9605 or

Learn more about Children's Harbor camp partners.

Filter by Story Type

  • All Stories

  • Givers

  • Patients

  • Camps

  • Services


RhizoKids Conference Provides Medical Exams for Children with Rare Disorder

Country Living Staff Visits Family Center

Church of the Highlands Members Serve in the Treasures & Thrift Store

A Letter from a Mom

Coach Pearl Swings toward a Million Dollar Goal

The Other Side of Camp: Relief for Parents

Family Fun

Spectacular Magic Show

Pig Iron BBQ Challenge

Sweet Family Moments

Magic Moments Sporting Clay Shoot

Hastings-Curtin Dinner

Davenport-Dixon Golf Tournament

Cinderella Ballerina Ball: A Magical Fairytale Event

Children's Harbor Welcomes Families Dealing with Rare Form of Dwarfism

Mom Achieves Success with Children's Harbor Program

Family Center Becomes Family’s Fun Getaway During Hospital Stay

Friends of Children's Harbor Auction

Children's Harbor receives grant to support Family Center

Christmas dinner brightens holiday for patients and families

Light the Way Vent Camp

A Letter from a Dad

COA School Nurse Workshop Lecture

The Beginnings of Camp Hemo

Awesome Day at Barber Museum!

Thanks to Boaters!

A Glimpse into the Education, Career Dev. & Transition Program

Volunteer Appreciation

Sounds of Healing

A Dr. Seuss Birthday Celebration

Bruce Pearl "Fore the Kids" Donation

Program Highlight: Counseling Services

Smith Family

Children's Harbor and Camp Wired Together

Schuttinga Family

Volunteer Spotlight: Leah Dennis

Children's Harbor and Camp Conquest

Children's Harbor and Camp BRIDGES

Girls Night Out for Diabetes Patients

Jaquares’ Lego Story

Will’s Wish

Jesse’s First Job

Return visit brings bear hugs & confirmation

Remote car race gets Caleb walking

Now cancer free, Sydney's got a mission

Beanie Babies bring big smiles

After 13,500 toys, Bill's not slowing down

Graycen fell in love with the music

How Can You Help?

The assistance Children’s Harbor receives from generous donors and active volunteers is central to carrying out our mission. Learn more about getting involved.