Teens give Dr. Kropp’s first Camp BElive for bladder exstrophy a thumbs-up!

Campers in the first ever Camp BE-lieve – 2018

A handful of teens with bladder exstrophy were recently recruited to try out a new kind of event: a camping trip with Dr. Bradly Kropp of Cook Children’s and the entire exstrophy team. Based on initial feedback, it’s destined to become an annual event.

Anna Block, a 12-year camper on the trip took the time to write the following report. Thank you Anna!

New friendships and learning what it’s like being a grown up with exstrophy

Does your doctor plan camping trips for a group of kids just like you? Well a few weeks ago my doctor #DrKropp shouted out to a few kids, counting me, to go with him on a camping trip. He brought five boys and five girls on the trip. For the first few hours we barely talked to each other, but as time past we became great friends. The cool part was that a few grown-ups with BE also camped with us so we got to learn what is like being a grown up.

GaGa Ball, fishing, ropes course and more!

My favorite thing we did as a group was GaGa Ball. If you don’t know what the heck GaGa ball is then the next paragraph is not for you because it’s all about GaGa ball!! GaGa ball was honestly one of my favorite out door games I’ve ever played. I’m now trying to get a GaGa pit in our school. We became completely different people when we stepped foot in there… it was every man for themselves! Khaine was the best at the game; he kept slapping the ball and the walls kept banging. He kept getting everyone “out” but he never got me “out”, LOL!


On Saturday, we went fishing.  I got bored and cold after the first five minutes. The weather was super miserable but that didn’t stop us from having a great time! After everyone got cold we went to a ropes course, which was a lot of fun. Dr. Kropp was shaking the tight rope so much we thought he was laughing really hard, but he told us he was trying to do it the professional way (without holding on to the ropes).

What is a camping trip without a good card game? This was the first time I ever played black jack. It was just me and Carson plus three guys. Out of all the people who could teach me how to gamble it happened to be Dr. Kropp. Look out Vegas, I’m coming for you!!

Contributing writer Anna Block

Not just fun and games

But this wasn’t just a lot of fun and games. We learned a lot about growing up with bladder exstrophy. The doctors and nurses taught us all about our kidneys and bladders and how to take care of them.  One of the things I learned was how important it is to be safe about having babies and all the problems it could cause.

I can’t stop talking about camping trip and how much I want to go again next year. We even have a name for our camp. It’s 2019 BElive!

by Anna Block, age 12