MARANA, AZ. (March 26, 2012) – This summer more than 800 kids will be reunited with siblings separated by foster, adoptive or kinship homes at summer camp. Camp To Belong, an international non-profit 501(c) 3 organization that actively brings together brothers and sisters through summer camp programs and year-round events, will begin to kick-off its eight camps across the country and an international chapter in Australia.
Campers attending one of the Camp To Belong camps will embark on exciting adventures that include swimming, canoeing, hiking, archery and challenge courses. More important than the activities, campers have the special opportunity to share experiences with their siblings. All of which, ensures that the campers leave feeling empowered, and with a renewed connection to their siblings.
“The preservation of sibling relationships is truly the heart of Camp To Belong’s mission,” said Sherry Brock, executive director of Camp To Belong. “So often kids are separated from their siblings in the system, but their participation in this camp and its activities allow them to maintain a bond that will last a lifetime.”
In addition to healthy activities during the day, attendees at the week-long camp share in arts and crafts, nights of bonfires, sing-alongs and inspirational activities. Camp To Belong also has a series of planned signature programming designed to strengthen kids’ connection such as Life Seminar, Sibling Enhancement, Art Activities and the Birthday Party Event.
The signature birthday celebration is a highlight at camp with each camper being given a gift carefully selected by their sibling at the “birthday store” and lovingly gift wrapped and presented with a hand-made birthday card. Each sibling group shares a special cake made just for them – a priceless event that is often missed when living apart. “For most of us, our sibling relationships provide the longest familial bond throughout our lives,” Brock continued. “That special brother/sister association often helps to define us, our place in the family, our place in the community and our place in the world. This event among many others helps to solidify these connections.”
The 2012 camp programs, in date order, include:
Camp To Belong-Nevada
Camp Site: Pathfinder Ranch, Mountain Center, Calif.
Date: June 23-29, 2012
Camp To Belong-Northwest/Oregon
Camp Site: Camp Silver Falls, Salem, Ore.
Date: June 24-29, 2012
Camp To Belong-Georgia
Camp Site: Camp Twin Lakes in Ga.
Date: July 23-28, 2012
Camp To Belong-Orange County
Camp Site: Outdoor Education Center-Irvine, Calif.
Date: July 23-28, 2012
Camp To Belong-Northwest/Washington
Camp Site: Miracle Ranch Camp-Port Orchard, Wash.
Date: August 13-18, 2012
Camp To Belong-Maine
Camp Site: Camp Wigwam, Waterford, Maine.
Date: August 14-19, 2012
Camp To Belong-Massachusetts
Camp Site: Camp Taconic, Hinsdale, Mass.
Date: August 20-22, 2012
Camp To Belong-New York
Camp Site: Camp Chingachook, Lake George, NY
Date: August 25-30, 2012
“We’ve designed a camp experience for kids to inspire memories and a sense of belonging,” said Brock. “In the long term, our hope is that these children are able to rise above their circumstances, and are better prepared for adulthood with life skills and a true sense of connectedness.”
Camp To Belong is headquartered in Tucson, Arizona and accepts applicants for campers and volunteer counselors from all over the country. Thanks to donations from individuals and the support of corporations, service organizations, foundations, and grants, Camp To Belong’s outreach continues to grow. For more information on Camp To Belong and to learn how you can help, please contact Associate Director Sherry Brock at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.camptobelong.org.
ABOUT CAMP TO BELONG:
Camp To Belong is an international non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization dedicated to reuniting siblings placed in separate foster homes and other out of home care for events of fun, emotional empowerment and sibling connection. Founded by Lynn Price, herself separated from a sibling in the foster care system; the organization is approaching its 18th year and has helped over 4,500 brothers and sisters reunite. Supervised by volunteer counselors, the campers’ days are filled with fun and meaningful activities giving siblings the opportunity to experience new things together, such as horseback riding, rafting, swimming and wall climbing. They strengthen relationships while experiencing the storybook adventures that a summer camp provides.
P.O. Box 1146, Marana, AZ., 85653, (520) 413-1395 www.camptobelong.org.