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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — This week One Place Metro Alabama Family Justice Center is hosting ‘Camp Hope America-Alabama.’ This is for children who have been impacted by domestic violence or other family trauma.
Camp Hope’s director Kelly Klehm said their mission this week is to give the children in their program a pathway to hope and healing.
It’s all taking place at Camp Cosby where the children are able to participate in fun activities like rock climbing, crafts, campfires and more.
This is all in addition to camp coaches taking them through a curriculum that shows them how to believe in themselves, others, and their dreams.
Klehm said it’s kids like Aylah, 10, that need to know they’re not alone in what they’ve gone through and there are adults that care about them.
“And they need to believe in themselves, and this program is really teaching kids that they can do hard things and set goals and achieve those goals,” said Klehm who also serves as Deputy Director at One Place.
Klehm asked Aylah what plans and goals she set for her future this week.
“To graduate high school, get into my dream college- well, it’s UAB in Birmingham, and then get into med school, and then go to college, graduate college, and become a doctor,” said Aylah.
According to data from One Place, three of the largest police departments in Jefferson County responded to 13,775 domestic violence calls in 2021.
Klehm said this and other family trauma impacts many of our youth. She added many children with trauma don’t know how to respond appropriately to certain situations.
That’s why Camp Hope works to provide a safe environment for these children to experience controlled challenges. That way they can see that they can do hard things and have support from adults.
Klehm said the impact of trauma early on has lasting effects on children.
“It effects how they show up at school,” said Klehm. “It effects their brain development, and it effects how they interact with others. So, we’ve got kids that are easily triggered by certain adults or certain situations and don’t know how to respond appropriately when there are challenges.”
This week, Klehm said they are working with 16 kids who’ve experienced a variety of trauma and violence they didn’t deserve to go through.
Aylah said she learned so much and that it feels awesome to receive unconditional support and encouragement from camp leaders.
“They’re my whole world,” said Aylah. “They bring me happiness and they’re exciting. Like Chanel, one of my counselors, she’s very loud and has a lot of energy and she just is amazing and so are all the other counselors in our cabin. They’re just amazing.”
Aylah said she hopes to return as a camp hope coach one day to help inspire others just like they have done for her.
Source Credit: Allie Root, CBS42. See original article here.
The post Local organization hosts Camp Hope America-Alabama, pathway to healing for children with trauma appeared first on Camp HOPE America.
For a seventh year, the Guilford County Family Justice Center is hosting Camp HOPE America – North Carolina – a camping and mentoring program that’s a big hit every year with the kids and everyone in county government involved with the program.
The camp is for children who’ve been affected by violence and abuse, and the camp experience usually does a great deal to help them heal emotionally.
The camp’s stated goal is “to break the generational outcomes of domestic violence through team building, evidence-informed programming, and high adventure, challenge-by-choice activities.”
Each year, the camp proves to be an uplifting experience for the kids and the counselors – as well as for the Guilford County commissioners and other county officials who usually get to meet the kids at a county commissioners meeting after the fact.
This year, about 75 youths are expected to take part in the six-day, five-night sleepover camp that runs from Sunday Aug. 13 to Friday, Aug. 18 at YMCA’s Camp Weaver at 4924 Tapawingo Trail in Greensboro.
Campers were “hand-chosen” by the staff at the county’s Family Justice Center along with the center’s partner organizations.
The camp follows the guidelines of Camp HOPE America, an affiliate program of the Alliance for HOPE International. That is, Camp HOPE focuses on three key elements:
Catherine Johnson, the director of the Family Justice Center, is a big believer in the program.
“This program has proven results,” she said. “The last seven years of programming have shown positive outcomes for the young people who go to the camp and who participate in our year-round programming. It really changes the trajectory of their lives.”
She added, “Camp counselors have a tremendous impact on our camper’s experiences, and this experience is life-changing for both the camper and counselor,” Johnson said. “HOPE counselors represent youth leaders from Guilford County high schools and NC colleges and universities. They are the champions for youth attendees and aid immensely in our goal to end the cycle of violence and change the destinies of youth exposed to trauma.”
Johnson also said the camp builds self-esteem and emotional stability in the kids – and also instills confidence that can lead to life improvements such as better academic performance.
Funding for Camp HOPE is provided by corporate and community donations, and support from the Weaver Foundation and Guilford County. That means that every camper this year will participate without having to pay.
Source Credit: Scott D. Yost, Rhino Times. See original article here.
The post 2023 Camp HOPE Set To Help Kids From Abusive Environments appeared first on Camp HOPE America.
NORFOLK, Va. — A week of camping and mentorship with the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office is officially underway.
The third annual Camp HOPE Norfolk, held by the sheriff’s office and the Norfolk Family Justice Center, kicked off Sunday morning.
33 campers between ages 8 and 13 will spend a week at YMCA Camp Silver Beach in Jamesville, participating in a curriculum designed to help overcome trauma, according to a news release.
The free camp works to create an environment where youth can feel safe, seen, heard, encouraged and cared for. It’s the first summer camp and mentoring program in the state for children who have experienced abuse or trauma.
Camp HOPE Norfolk is modeled after other Camp HOPE programs across the country, but Norfolk’s is the only one lead by a sheriff’s office.
Nine Norfolk Sheriff’s Office staff are joining the trip, with some serving as camp counselors.
“Camp HOPE Norfolk is near and dear to our hearts. As the first and only sheriff’s office to oversee a Camp HOPE America program and to be the agency who brought the program to Norfolk means a lot to us,” Sheriff Joe Baron said in the release. “Through the Camp HOPE program, we hope to break the cycle of violence and assist children in their healing process.”
In addition to the week-long camp, monthly activities are held throughout the year to bring Camp HOPE participants together, the release said.
“At the Norfolk Sheriff’s Office, our purpose is to make a positive difference in the lives of others as far as we can reach. Camp HOPE Norfolk is just one of the many ways we are doing that,” Baron said.
The campers will return Saturday, August 19.
Source Credit: 13News Now Staff, 13 News Now. See original article here.