Indianapolis Creates “Camperships” for Foster Youth
This past summer the KidsPeace Indianapolis office ventured out to create a new opportunity for its foster children. By partnering with three local summer camps, KidsPeace was able to send five foster children to summer camp at no cost, under their new “Campership Program.” This unique opportunity allowed the children to have an unforgettable experience that they may not have had, given their circumstances.
The idea for the Campership Program began to take shape when the Indianapolis staff realized a number of their members previously worked as summer camp counselors prior to coming to KidsPeace. As KidsPeace Indianapolis Program Manager Christian Deck said, “Summer camp has always been a passion of mine, and when I realized other staff members shared that passion, we put our heads together to figure out a way we could share this with our foster children.”
After meeting with various camp directors across the state, the Indianapolis agency was able to establish working agreements with three summer camps: CYO Camp Rancho Framasa in Nashville, IN, Jameson Camp in Indianapolis, and Happy Hollow Children’s Camp in Nashville, IN. And through the generous support of donors in the Indianapolis area, the office was able to make the opportunity to attend summer camp available to these foster children at no cost to their families or the state.
Kevin Sullivan, Camp Director at CYO Camp Rancho Framasa (pictured), also contributed funds to help with the Camperships. “CYO Camp Rancho Framasa and its loyal and generous donors are always looking where we can use our resources to help those in need,” Sullivan said. “This past summer KidsPeace proved to us to be a not-for-profit that was managed well and was truly making a difference in the lives of those it worked with. We were humbled to be able to provide Campership assistance, and we look forward to the continuation of this collaboration with KidsPeace.”
None of the five foster children who received Camperships had ever attended summer camp before, and a couple had never been outside of the city at all. One camper summed up their experience this way: “I never knew I could make so many friends in only a week!” KidsPeace Indianapolis plans to make the Campership Program an annual tradition for years to come.