By: Kendra Kaiserman
North State children exposed to domestic violence are finding hope in the form of a unique camp- Camp HOPE. Camp HOPE America is the only evidence-based camping model in the United States focused on trauma-exposed youth. Shasta County’s camp is run through the Family Dynamics Resource Center, and Camp HOPE has been changing lives in Shasta County since 2012. Camp HOPE Shasta provides weeklong camping experiences and yearlong mentoring activities for children at no cost to them or their families. While participating in camp activities, children and their counselors establish goals that help build resiliency, increasing their coping skills and reducing the chance that the children will have emotional, social and behavior problems. “Consistency is key with these kids,” says Patty Price, Camp HOPE coordinator and child abuse intake specialist. Last summer, 48 children attended the Shasta County camp. This summer, 72 children will be able to attend camp, with six staff and 12 mentors. California is one of 11 states with Camp HOPE programs.
To volunteer with Camp HOPE, contact the Family Dynamics Resource Center at (530) 242-9007. Mentors must be between the ages of 17-24 and go through an application process. To attend camp, children must be nominated through a local agency by early spring.