History & Mission

Our Mission: We empower survivors and their families to live with and beyond cancer through life-changing Montana experiences where they strengthen life skills, gain resilience, and develop lasting relationships.

Our Vision: We will be an unparalleled experience for those impacted by cancer— a dream community built on authentic relationships, relevant resources and inspiring resilience.

Our Values:

Compassion – We genuinely care for others and strive for good self-care and wellness for participants, volunteers and staff alike.  

Accountability – We are responsible stewards of all our resources and place the health and safety of our participants above all.  

Mutual Respect – We appreciate and value our team and various constituents. We wholeheartedly embrace the diversity we represent. 

Partnership – We are endlessly grateful for our many partnerships with donors, volunteers and other organizations that make Camp possible. 

Our History:

It all started with Harry and Sylvia Granader. They donated 87 acres of their Montana ranch plus seed money to begin constructing Camp Māk-A-Dream. Harry had been involved in building a Ronald McDonald House — a home away from home for families to stay free of charge while their children receive specialized medical treatment nearby — in his hometown of Detroit, Michigan. When he visited patients in the hospital whose families were benefiting from the house’s existence, he decided he wanted to give them a chance so see a real working ranch in Montana. And he and Sylvia just happened to own one: the 6C in Gold Creek.

After building a coalition of business associates and community volunteers in Missoula, Montana, and raising enough funds to build the Camp facility on their donated land, Harry’s dream of bringing sick children to his beautiful neck of the woods became a reality in 1995. That first year Camp welcomed 46 children with cancer for a single camp session. By the next year, summer camp sessions increased from one to four.

The Granaders did all this never knowing how much it would (will) truly grow nor how large of an impact it would (will) have. They only hoped. Camp Māk-A-Dream today proves to be the Granaders’ dream of an energy source for campers — a place where they can instantly be part of an intimate community, one that would cheer them on toward victory and reserve judgment for their tears. Camp is a place where being hooked up to a central line or battling chronic fatigue doesn’t make a camper stand out. To each their own, together.

Since opening its doors, Camp Māk-A-Dream has welcomed thousands of participants from across the United States, Canada and several other countries. Camp continues to provide a cost-free, intimate Montana setting for survivors and their families to develop lasting relationships and gain resiliency today. These inclusive programs are the backbone of Camp and intended for everyone regardless of race, religion, age, class, gender identity and/or sexual orientation.

Harry died in August 2006, and we lost Sylvia a decade later in 2016 when she was in her late 90s. Both hold very special places in our hearts and will be honored and remembered at Camp for many years to come.


Coming into this camp I expected the kids to be more ill or needing more assistance. That stigma ... was completely broken by the strong, independent and entirely courageous group of children.

~ Kirsten, Kids Camp Cabin volunteer


From the outside looking in summer may seem like our busy season, but Camp Māk-A-Dream works its magic year-round. From special projects in preparation for our major fundraising events to hosting educational workshops at our Gold Creek campus, we stay busy regardless of the temperature outside. It just happens to be summertime that we especially look forward to.