For children and teens in the HIV/AIDS program, words don’t do justice to the “spirit” of camp. You sense it in the beginning with the Circle of Hello, and feel it deep in your heart at the end of camp within the tear-filled goodbyes. It weaves itself through each meal, every friendship bracelet and the late-night cabin talks. Spirit cannot be photographed, but if you gaze deep into the eyes of campers and counselors, you will undoubtedly find it.
Inspire Youth Project meets the needs of the campers’ varying ages (5-15) and interests by creating a balance between traditional camp experience, character-building and physical challenges. This balance creates a conducive environment and supports campers in exceeding their personal goals, learning new skills, and exploring new, formative experiences. Canoeing, archery, swimming, fishing, hiking, arts and crafts, S’mores, and a Polar Bear swim are some of the many activities available. Junior counselors, who are older teens ages 16-18, and volunteer counselors and staff join in and lead many of these activities.
Spending a week at summer camp in a rustic cabin with a child, who has never spent enough time in one place to call home often results in comments such as “I don’t want to leave. This is my real family.” In the shadows they carry with them, campers remember the brightness of their camp experience, the acceptance and the love. They return to us every summer.
One week of summer day camp is reserved for our youngest children transitioning out of childhood trauma treatment facilities. We provide for them fun-filled days exploring and enjoying traditional day camp activities. For those children who are enrolled in the Inspire Youth Project. For additional information contact Julie Wheaton (Julie@inspireyouthproject.com) or call 206-628-8949 Ext 211