In our country, 75% of all foster children have at least one sibling from whom they have been separated.

Camp To Belong Summer Camp

August 11th – 16th, 2014

Miracle Ranch Campsite
15999 Sidney Road SW
Port Orchard, WA, 98367

Brothers and sisters typically experience the longest life relationships.  That is why Camp To Belong Washington believes it is so important to keep siblings connected when they are separated due to foster care, adoption, relative care or other out of home circumstances.  For five days brothers and sisters will reunite at Miracle Ranch on Horseshoe Lake on the beautiful Key Peninsula.  They will create memories for a lifetime.

Arrival:  Monday, August 11, 2014, 3p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Departure:  Saturday, August 16, 2014, 9:30 – 10 a.m.
Location:  Miracle Ranch Parking Lot

This is a great experience and we look forward to seeing you this summer!

April VanGesen
Camp Co-Director
April@fosterfamilyconnections.org

Deb Kennedy
Camp Co-Director
Deb@fosterfamilyconnections.org


Dear Caretaker or Social Worker:

Thank you for your interest in referring youth to Camp To Belong Washington (CTB WA).  The camp week is an amazing opportunity for brothers and sisters separated by foster care or other out-of-home placement to come together and enjoy the many camp activities which include swimming, hiking, beach activities, arts and crafts, and other fun activities.  In addition to these daily activities, we also plan special events such as a theme night, a carnival, and the very special birthday party where siblings swap birthday gifts, eat cake and sing songs.  Other camper favorites include making scrapbooks with photos taken at camp and exchanging sibling pillows/quilts that include written sentiments from their brothers and sisters.

All of our programming is focused on the sibling relationship and promotes quality time with siblings.  Camp is also a great opportunity for campers to meet others who have experienced similar situations.  We have often witnessed mutual support and understanding amongst campers, especially during some challenging times.  The camp week has proven an invaluable and memorable experience for campers and counselors

PLEASE NOTE:  This is an Electronic Referral Application and may be completed by Parents, Caregivers, GAL's, CASA's and Social Workers.

Campers selected will receive a Registration Email and Liability Waivers to be signed electronically by Legal Guardians. (if your child is in foster care, the legal guardian is the Social Worker).

When referring siblings to Camp To Belong Washington, we ask that you look closely at the Camper Criteria list to be sure that each potential camper is appropriate for CTB  WA.  A primary screening criteria will be quantity and quality of visits – how often do these siblings see each other and under what conditions.    

Given the physical nature of camp activities, CTB WA will only be able to accept campers who are ambulatory.  Children who require restraining, have severe anger management difficulties, may cause harm to self, to others, or to the environment, or where there is concern of sexual reactivity, will not benefit from the camp experience.  Behaviors that disturb or disrupt the focus of camp are not conducive to meeting the CTB objectives for a lifetime of positive sibling memories for the campers.  While we have a ratio of one adult counselor per two campers, we cannot provide 1:1 supervision.  Camp To Belong Washington is not a therapeutic camp.

With that context, it is important to stress that behavioral issues are not uncommon at camp.  Most of the camp counselors and other staff have a child welfare background and are familiar with many of the behaviors and issues they will see.  They will also have three days of specific training before camp starts.

So, please do not automatically rule out your potential camper(s) because of their behavioral concerns.  However, please be specific about issues and behaviors your potential camper(s) may have so the selection committee can make the best decision possible. On behalf of Camp To Belong Washington, we would like to thank you for considering camp as an opportunity to enrich the lives of the children and youth you serve.

Camper Application Deadline:   Friday, May 2nd 2014

Campers Selected will be notified by:  Friday, May 16th 2014

 Questions???       Please Contact:     April VanGesen, april@fosterfamilyconnections.org


CAMPER CRITERIA LIST

This following list of criteria should be used as a guide as you think about the children/youth you would like to refer to Camp To Belong Washington.

When considering a child/youth for camp, he/she must meet the following criteria:

Age/Developmental Criteria:

  • Must be 8 years old by August 11, 2014 and up to age 18 years of age.
  • Have siblings coming to camp that they do not live with (or have recently been reunited with)
  • Have the developmental and cognitive abilities to understand the purpose of camp

Physical Criteria:

  • Must be ambulatory

Children with the following issues do not do well at camp.  Please do not refer campers if they are experiencing:

  • Significant attachment issues that result in behavioral or emotional disturbances that would impact self and others’ participation in the camp experience as it is meant to be.
  • Sleep Disorder – chronic inability to sleep throughout the night, which would require awake/overnight supervision.
  • Sexual activity/reactivity – concerns of sexual activity between siblings and/or concerns of sexuallyaggressive behaviors toward other campers.
  • Ability to self-manage is compromised in a large group setting.  This could include: the inability to keep self safe (free of self-abusive/self-harming behaviors); physical aggression toward siblings, peers, and adults; physical aggression toward animals; severe anger management difficulties
  • Behaviors that require restraint
  • Behaviors that would greatly disrupt the focus of camp.
  • Behavioral and/or mental illnesses that require ongoing 1:1 support or supervision.
  • Other behaviors that require constant supervision for our campers.  We are not able to provide ongoing 1:1supervision or support to any camper needing constant supervision.  For this reason, campers requiring this type of supervision may not be appropriate for this camp setting.

Click to go to the Camper Application

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