Hello and welcome to our new website and blog! We are excited you're here. We hope you can feel the passion and heart all of us have for these kids. We work hard as a team (all unpaid, trained, and screened volunteers) to ensure we are providing an environment where the kids can feel safe, valued, and unconditionally loved. Designed for kids who are in, are have been in, foster care, most of the campers come with some pretty heavy baggage - they have endured more in their short lives than most adults ever will. They need the reassurance that their lives matter, that people do care about them, and to make the most impact, they need to treat others that same way.
As a team we pour everything into making it the best possible experience for them. Our motto is "For the kids" - if you have a headache, it's "for the kids"; if another staff member is annoying you, it's "for the kids"; if you have a kid kicking you in the shins, or cussing you out, or throwing rocks at you, it's "for the kids". The teens that come to our camp have every right to have the anger or depression or sadness that they are experiencing. The trick is to help them see and understand what "healthy" behavior looks like (not "normal" behavior - their everyday life is their "normal"), and what the positive consequences can be when they apply it themselves. We only have three days with them...but you can see the transformation. Sometimes, we're lucky enough to see it by the end of camp. But where I've usually seen it is when the kid return the next year, and they see the familiar faces. I ride down with them to the facility, so I get to see their first reactions when they look out the window and see they have the same counselor. I have been mowed down several times by campers that can't get off the bus fast enough to get to that person, that one individual that they may have fought with, or ran from, or was just a turd to all last year. They just can't wait to see them. You know why? Because, in spite of all the grief they gave us the year before, we came back.
That's what camp is really all about. The consistent positive interaction, year after year. No matter what they may be going through back home, no matter how many foster homes they've been placed in, no matter how many fights they got into because no one understood them, no matter how many times they got in trouble just for the attention...we come back. Year after year. We come back...for the kids.
Thank you for you continued support. Thank you for your willingness to serve in some way. Thank you for caring.
For the kids.