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Promises2Kids and County of San Diego Connect to Help Reunite Foster Youth Siblings at a Fun and Safe Sleep-Away Camp
By Elisabeth Handley, Public Outreach Specialist, County of San Diego Child and Family Well-Being Department
More than 90 youths in foster care were treated to water slides, a mud pit, zip line, horseback riding, rock climbing and many other activities during the Promises2Kids 15th annual Camp Connect in August 2023. This year’s theme was “Under the Sea.”
Through a partnership between Promises2Kids and the County of San Diego, Camp Connect reunites siblings in foster care, who have been placed in separate homes, and gives them the opportunity to reconnect through a six-day summer camp, as well as recreational and educational day camp activities throughout the year. The camp is also open to other youth in foster care, regardless of being part of a sibling set.
Camp Connect provides an environment of fun and safety for participants. It allows them, if even for just a short time, to set aside their trauma and experience the joy of being a kid while connecting with their brothers and sisters and other youth in foster care.
Camp activities also included culinary and art lessons, a glow-in-the-dark dance, and a talent show.
County staff supported both the send-off event, as well as camp supervision during the week. County nurses assisted with camp planning to ensure participant safety and worked with nurses from contracted agencies to provide needed clinical services to youth participants.
Following summer camp, Camp Connect hosts a variety of monthly activities and outings, allowing separated brothers and sisters continued quality time for bonding. Ice skating, a visit to a museum or a trip to a ball game are often ordinary activities for the average child. But for youth in the child welfare system, these are important experiences for creating lasting memories with their brothers and sisters.
Monthly Camp Connect activities are planned throughout the year and rely on the help of volunteers to create such priceless experiences.
Interested in volunteering? Additional information can be found at: promises2kids.org/volunteer