I have had the privilege the past two summers to be a volunteer counselor at a camp for foster children. Royal Family Kids Camp (RFKC) is a weeklong camp designed to create positive memories for abused and neglected children. During the week of camp, each counselor is assigned a camper and a cabin. When campers arrive, they decorate their cabins and make it like their homes for a week. Every day the campers go swimming and boating at the local lake, play games at the campsite, and do crafts. Each night there are different activities; for example, Monday might be fishing for the boys and make-overs for the girls, and Tuesday might be a birthday party for everyone. Campers also perform in a talent show, play games at a carnival, and make s’mores at a bonfire.
Throughout the week, each camper experiences new activities. Most importantly, the staff offers love and compassion and demonstrates positive relationships that campers carry with them throughout their lives. It was such a great experience and the relationships we made with our campers will last a lifetime. Based on my positive experience at Royal Family Kids Camp, I encourage everyone to get involved! There are several ways to volunteer to help with the camp, such as: being a staff member or guide relief for the staff, cooking, cleaning up, or just donating to the camp will do so much! If you would like to help with camp, please go to thelocator and mentor page to find a camp near you. If you would like to hear campers’ stories, you can go to the RFKC newsletter page and learn more about RFKC
The author of this article is Rechelle Patton, a junior from Salem studying social work at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.