“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead
The vision happened with the skip of a stone and a planting of a seed. I counseled with a small and mighty band of relentless believers, who in a matter of three months from time of idea to implementation, joined me in the lobby of a dorm building at University of Las Vegas to welcome our first 32 campers at Camp To Belong Summer Camp. I can vividly remember all of us wearing our pink and purple unicorn logo t-shirts and hats.
25 years later, our band has welcomed over 6,000 relentless volunteer counselors orchestrating Summer Camps for over 13,000 campers. Add the number of camp site partners, member camp partners, contributors, year round sibling preservation programs, day volunteers and more and that one skip has been the catalyst for the power of the ripple and a wise oak tree! I can vividly see all of us wearing our green and yellow oak tree logo t-shirts and hats this summer!
As we prepare to celebrate our anniversary with 13 Summer Camps across the U.S. and Australia, followed by a reunion of counselors and campers (now adults) over the years, we reflect on our whys.
I smile each time I hear my sister, Andi, say she is thankful we were separated in foster care because that is why we have Camp To Belong. To Belong; with our goal to encourage youth to have confidence and take control of their dreams, and, embrace childhood memories with their siblings experienced at Camp To Belong Summer Camp for a lifetime!
On behalf of Andi, and our families, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for living our journey to Give Siblings Their Right to Reunite®. We are proud of, and grateful to, each and every Camp To Belong family member. We are in awe of those who came to us as, or, have become foster and adoptive parents, court appointed special advocates, social workers, advocates for legislation, and sibling educational trainers. We celebrate all our campers, overwhelmed with those who continue to stay in touch all the way back to 1995 with memories and gratitude.
Because of all of you, we celebrate sibling connection in extraordinary, life-impacting, system changing, unforgettable, compassionate ways.