National Summer Camp Program Aims to Reunite Siblings in Foster Care System

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National Summer Camp Program Aims to Reunite Siblings in Foster Care System Camp To Belong will reunite over 600 children this summer

MARANA(April 6, 2009) – This summer, seven national camps and one camp in Australia will help over 600 foster and adopted youth reconnect with their siblings for an exciting week of new adventures. The only program of its type in the country, Camp To Belong (CTB) reunites brothers and sisters for a week of life changing experiences, including opportunities to build or rebuild their sibling connections. These camps were all made possible through the vision of one woman; Lynn Price.

At eight years old, Lynn Price discovered her mom and dad were not her biological parents, but her foster parents. Price also learned she had an older birth sister living across town. With limited visits throughout their childhood, Lynn and her sister, Andi, did not develop a family relationship until they were young adults. As their relationship deepened, they realized how much their connection meant, as well as how much they missed while growing up with separate families.

In 1995, Price volunteered at a children’s shelter and served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in foster care. She discovered that of the almost 600,000 youth in the American foster care system and 75 percent are separated from at least one sibling. This staggering statistic, combined with her own personal experience, turned out to be the spark that ignited her creation of Camp To Belong.

Campers’ days are filled with lively, meaningful and shared activities, such as: swimming, canoeing, challenge courses, hiking and archery. Each afternoon, siblings participate in art activities, while nights are filled with bonfires and inspirational exercises. “Camp To Belong is the catalyst for sibling connections, building life-time memories to honor this most important familial bond,” says CTB founder, Lynn Price. Camp To Belong also offers signature traditions like their all-sibling birthday celebration—a priceless life event that siblings cannot share together when living apart.

2009 camp programs in date order include:

  • CTB- NW – Oregon (Camp N Sid Sen – Harrison, ID.)
    June 15-20, 2009
  • CTB-Nevada (Camp Mariastella -Wrightwood, CA.)
    June 22-27, 2009
  • CTB-Georgia (Camp Twin Lakes – Rutledge, GA.)
    June 27-July 3, 2009
  • CTB-Orange County (Outdoor Education Center – Irvine, CA.)
    July 20-25, 2009
  • CTB-Maine (Camp Wigwam -Waterford, ME.)
    August 17-22, 2009
  • CTB-Massachusetts (Camp Taconic – Hinsdale, MA.)
    August 23-28, 2009
  • CTB-NW – Washington (Miracle Ranch Camp -Port Orchard, WA.)
    August 24-29, 2009
  • CTB-Australia
    Queensland – October 2009
    New South Wales – January 2010

As a result of Price’s involvement with Camp To Belong, she has been recognized with many accolades, including the President’s Volunteer Service Award, administered by Points of Light, and the Use Your Life Award from Oprah Winfrey’s Angel Network.

Today, Price serves as a national account sales manager for National CineMedia and is a partner in Dream Weavers, an organization that helps social entrepreneurs through keynotes, workshops, coaching and project management. Lynn is an Ashoka Fellow and a member of the National Speakers Association. She is the author of “Vision For A Change, A Social Entrepreneur’s Insights From the Heart and Real Belonging – Give Siblings Their Right To Reunite®.” Visit www.lynnprice.com for more information.

Camp To Belong accepts applicants for campers and volunteer counselors from all over the country. Thanks to the financial support of individuals, corporations, service organizations, foundations and grants, Camp To Belong continues to reach more and more siblings each year. For more information on Camp To Belong and to learn how you can help, please contact Associate Director Sherry Brock at sherry@camptobelong.org or visit www.camptobelong.org.

ABOUT CAMP TO BELONG:
Camp To Belong is an international non-profit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to reuniting siblings placed in separate foster homes and other out of home care for events of fun, emotional empowerment and sibling connection. Founded by Lynn Price, herself separated from a sibling in the foster care system, the organization is approaching its 15th year and has helped 2,500 brothers and sisters connect. Supervised by volunteer counselors, the campers’ days are filled with fun activities that offer siblings the opportunity to experience new things together, such as:

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