April 19, 2016
Boulder County Seeking Donations to Send At-Risk Kids to Summer Camp
22-year old Summer Camp Fund program provides positive activities for at-risk children
Boulder County, Colo. - Boulder County is seeking donations to help child-welfare-involved young people spend time at summer camp this year. With camp registrations taking place now, donors are needed immediately.
The Boulder County Department of Housing and Human Services’ Family and Children Services Division has coordinated the Summer Camp Fund since it was created in 1994.
Over the past three summers alone, over 200 children have attended camps across Colorado through the program, which covers up to $250 in tuition for child-welfare-involved children and teens whose families or caregivers can’t afford these costs.
Many children in the child welfare system are being raised by grandparents and other relatives with limited income, or are living in foster care. Others have disabilities and/or special needs. Summer camp helps expose these youngsters to positive new activities, keeps them engaged in existing interests, and gives siblings living in separate placements quality time together.
Foster Care and Adoption Specialist Tanya Michels reached out to a donor who made a tremendous difference in the life of a child with whom she works. “I wanted to wholeheartedly thank you for giving ‘Tori’ the opportunity to participate in camp,” Michels said. “Not only did she get the opportunity to learn about riding and horse care, but the camp also gave her the benefit of connecting and practicing compassion. What a beautiful opportunity this was for her social and emotional growth. Thank you for your kindness and generosity!”
Research (including Turner et al., 2007) suggests that positive activities, such as those at summer camp, help young people develop healthy relationships with other youth and adults and help build stronger family connections. These activities also serve to facilitate involvement in conventional social networks and help promote a well-rounded confidence that can help kids make better choices for themselves as they grow older.
The Summer Camp Fund program is one of many ways in which Boulder County Housing and Human Services surrounds families, children, and individuals with the supports they need to live happier and healthier lives.
“It’s really heartwarming to know these kids are having such a great time, learning, sharing, and playing,” said BCDHHS Volunteer Office Program Coordinator Deborah Ramirez. “Life has been a little harder for these children, so these donations go a long way toward giving them the same shot at a happy, active summer that other kids have.”