Siblings Connecting Through Summer Camp
Tucked away on a beautiful 150 acre campus that passes through Andover & Coventry, is a state gem supporting families and children from across Connecticut. While Channel 3 Kids Camp provides year-round programs, the big focus is on summer camp, including swimming, archery, ropes courses, creative arts, digital media, nature education and more. But beyond its programs, the camp offers something special: reduced overnight camp rates for children from financially struggling and foster families that is affordable while providing kids with unforgettable memories.
“It has always been part of our mission to help families send their kids to camp,” says Chief Executive Officer Denise K. Hornbecker. “It takes a lot of fundraising, but seeing these happy faces every summer makes it worthwhile.”
While the Channel 3 Kids Camp has been in existence for nearly 110 years, it is its work with DCF foster families that make it a Quote2stand out. For the past 11 years, Channel 3 Kids Camp, in partnership with Wheeler Clinic, has hosted DCF’s annual Sibling Connections Camp. The one-week program permits siblings in foster care to spend time together, participating in activities and meeting other children in similar situations. Most activities promote teamwork and cooperation, strengthening the children’s relationships with one another by encouraging trust and confidence. Especially for those who are separated in care, it presents a unique opportunity for sibling bonding. For a special set of triplets, a once a week visit never seemed like enough time. With one of the sisters placed at Solnit South, being away has been difficult. Separate foster care placements for siblings is hard enough, let alone for triplets and the unique bond that they share. The camp experience was a memorable experience for all of them!
The Wheeler team agrees. “Although just like other campers in most ways, children in foster care have been through unusual and often traumatic circumstances that may have left them with social, emotional or behavioral challenges not seen in other campers,” said Cristine A. McNaney, Psy.D., Associate Director of Evaluation Services at Wheeler. “This is their chance to just be together, have fun and be regular kids. Our clinicians provide training and work with Camp staff and DCF before and during the camp week to be sure everything is in place that’s needed to support the kids while they’re here,” McNaney continued.
Any DCF involved siblings between the ages of 8 and 17 are invited to apply to the Sibling Connections Camp through their social workers. Thanks to support delivered through the state budget, 80 slots are available free of charge to families. However, applications are due by July 1 each year and the spots fill in quickly. Applications are online and will be posted on the DCF website for next year’s session.
Below is a link to a promotional video that offers a snap shot of the wonderful opportunities the camp affords kids. Please check it out and spread the word about this incredible.