Camp To Belong Summer Camp
It's what we are known for. Our summer camp program is a six day, five night camp experience designed to bring siblings together and help them grow and strengthen their connections.
Campers' days are filled with fun and meaningful activities that give siblings the opportunity to experience new things together. Youth participate in recreational activities, together with their sibling in family groups.
By participating in activities together at camp, siblings provide each other with support – support that, at times, can only be given by a sibling. They encourage each other to overcome obstacles they might not otherwise find the strength or will to tackle, such as climbing a rock wall, canoeing, or riding a horse.
What does camp look like?
Mornings are spent doing traditional camp activities (archery, hiking, rock wall climbing, etc.)
Afternoon activities are focused on signature programming designed to help siblings connect
Evenings entail special themed events such as talent contests, carnivals, a birthday party and a special inspirational closing campfire ceremony
Our signature programs have been designed to support and encourage siblings in creating special memories together and also to serve as intervention tools for sibling groups who are struggling to communicate with each other after lengthy separation. They foster open communication and subsequent healing between brothers and sisters whose relationship has been fragmented due to their separation.
Sibling Pillows & Quilts
Siblings create and sew special pillows for each other and share their innermost feelings toward their siblings with written messages. The pillows are then exchanged between siblings during our Inspirational evening. The pillow project has aided thousands of siblings to express themselves in a unique and heartfelt format.
Each camper is provided a scrapbook, materials and printed photos of their week at camp allowing them to create a visual representation of their experiences and memories and use this take-home keepsake as a place to write messages to one another and personal reflections on the week. For many, this scrapbook will contain the only pictures they have from their childhood.
Sibling Birthday Party
One evening is dedicated to a camp-wide birthday party where sibling groups celebrate with individual family birthday cakes and gift exchanges. The party serves to make up for missed opportunities to celebrate important life occasions together. Siblings choose gifts for one another from donated and/or pre-purchased gifts, wrap them, and create birthday cards for their brother or sister.
Life Skills Enhancement
Campers, 14 years and older, are given the opportunity to participate in the Life Seminar Program. This program is designed to support teenagers in foster care as they approach their emancipation from the foster system. It educates them about life choices available after high school.
One of our more popular theme nights, Carnival Night allows the siblings to enjoy all the carnival food and games they desire, together. Campers have the opportunity to "dunk the counselors" and indulge themselves in cotton candy and snow cones!
Sibling Inspiration Night
Our Inspirational evening is an opportunity for campers to exchange meaningful gifts with each other while hearing from others (mentors, leads, former youth) delivering inspirational messages.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to attend?
Siblings ages 8 to 18 who are currently placed in foster care and separated from at least one sibling may attend the week-long camp. Siblings that have been adopted and/or placed in other out of home placements (group, kinship) are also eligible to attend. Campers must be mobile and capable of benefiting from one-week residential experiences with structured support. Most of all, they should enjoy outdoor and group activities and have the desire to spend time with their siblings.
Do siblings participate in activities together?
Yes! Siblings are grouped together so they can spend the most time together as possible while participating in activities that will foster relationship-building.
What is the camper to counselor ratio?
There is one counselor for every two campers. In addition, we have additional leadership staff and the staff of our host camp partner along with volunteer nurses on staff.
How long is the camp program?
The week-long program is six days and five nights. Campers arrive on Sunday and depart on Friday afternoons.
What types of activities are held at camp?
Basic camp activities may include swimming, canoeing/kayaking, fishing, arts & crafts, horseback riding, archery, and hiking. We also have special events like a carnival, luau, talent shows, and a special sibling birthday party for all campers. And of course, we also have campfires with s’mores.
Who can refer a camper?
Campers are referred by their caseworker, foster parent, adoptive parent, bio parents, kinship caretaker, guardian ad litem, or CASA worker.
What is the fee to attend camp?
There is a $500 program fee for each camper. Camp To Belong is committed to allowing all campers to attend regardless of their ability to pay. We recommend the use of recreational funds allotted to foster youth from county and local agencies to help cover costs. We also partner with other community organizations and work diligently throughout the year fundraising to provide campers with scholarships.
Who provides transportation to camp?
Campers are transported by bus (w/chaperones) to camp. Parent/caregivers are responsible for transporting campers to/from the designated drop-off/pick-up location.
How many campers/counselors per cabin?
Traditionally, there are approximately 8-10 campers and 4-5 counselors in each cabin. All cabins are supervised at all times.
Can youth with special/extra needs attend?
We consider the needs of all campers to determine whether they can be successful for the week and work with the child’s caregivers and team to determine the youths ability to interact with other campers and siblings in a safe and appropriate manner.