The Camp Family for Life experience currently takes place at Dunbar Recreation Center in San Marcos, Texas, under the supervision of the camp director, a professional care team and trained, volunteer buddies who are paired with individual campers. The campers' days are filled with fun-filled activities enabling siblings to try new things and get reacquainted with one another through activities like archery, arts and crafts, and swimming. Over the course of the two-day experience, campers are matched with a volunteer buddy that can provide the support and encouragement that they may need to have a positive experience at camp.
Campers are given the opportunity to participate in the games and activities designed to teach problem solving and teamwork. They are challenged by being asked to take safe risks while they encourage others do the same. This program is designed to support, empower and prepare families in foster care as they approach their emancipation from the foster system. The siblings learn to make choices that will affect their future with a little more confidence, as well as newfound perspective and consideration.
The Care Team is comprised of a Licensed Therapist, A Registered Nurse, and other experienced professionals trained in handling crises situations. The Care Team serves as a support and intervention resource and tool for siblings struggling to communicate with one another or experiencing difficulty with the reunification process. The Care Team reviews and familiarizes itself with all sibling profiles, their medications and the challenging behaviors they’ve exhibited for the 6 months leading to their camp attendance, based on the information they gather, they devise a plan of action to be implemented in case a crises situation should arise. The strategy includes one-on-one processing, counseling, and redirection that can contribute to the healing of the each sibling and sibling-bond.
It is the goal of Camp Family for Life to foster positive sibling connection. We create situations where children can experience positive, self-affirming childhood events and activities. We schedule family trips to the movies, bowling and enable them to celebrate birthdays and holidays together when possible. We realize that many children haven’t had the chance to be with their siblings during these times or their lives we interrupted by abuse and neglect. The sibling connection is taken for granted by many of us who have not been separated by the system. We are dedicated to understanding these events as miracles in the lifelong relationship between siblings.