Partner With Us: Camp David

Hey Red Leaf Family!

We wanted to bring you in and share with you some of the awesome ways that you help out around the world! Yes, we said that right, the world! We don’t know if you were aware, but when you visit Red Leaf you are helping other organizations that we partner with, and we wanted to share some info with you about this organization that is dear to our hearts in hopes that you are encouraged by what you read, and that you may feel led to participate as well!

One of the great organizations that we partner with is Camp David, a specialized camp for children who have a parent that is incarcerated. This summer camp allows children to not only have a great time doing activities like horse back riding, archery, games, and swimming, but also addresses the many challenges that these kids face. They equip kids with tools they can use for success during this challenging time in their life. They also offer mentoring, after school programs, and family retreats, where caregivers are able to spend time not only relaxing and being pampered, but work through some of the pain and frustration they deal with every single day. Camp David also has international camps in Africa, South Asia and the D.R. where in addition to the above, they teach older kids life skills through classes such as wood working and sewing. Camp David believes in creating leaders and they have seen a lot of former campers begin to serve as staff!

We have seen so much healing and community come from this organization so we wanted to share this with you! Over the course of the next year we really wanted to invite Red Leaf customers and other businesses to partner with us and help support these kids so they can be a part of this camp! Because they are a non-profit, what you give is tax deductible and the link to donate is below. We encourage you to read through the stories of how these kids who felt alone and isolated were able to make meaningful connections, feel like they could be themselves and how families have been impacted. So join us in partnering with these kids! To give you an idea, it takes $100 to sponsor a child for a life changing week long camp! We really believe that together, we can change the lives of these sweet kids! Will you join us?

Donate

 

We will leave you with an excerpt from a testimonial:

My name is Bethany and I have 4 children who have gone to Camp David. My children were extremely close to their father prior to his incarceration. He was their primary caregiver while I worked, and they thought he was spectacular. He was sentenced to prison when the children were ages 4, 5, 7, and 12…..We were immediately shunned by our friends and family. Friends who used to come over to play were no longer allowed to play, and it took no time at all for my children to understand people were avoiding us. Of course this fostered the idea that “if my daddy is bad, I must also be” along with that came the idea that they were bad simply for loving their dad. It is in a mom’s nature to protect her babies but I had no idea how to protect them from the hurt they were feeling. Nothing had prepared me and I was left with no help, from our friends or family….These interactions made my children realize the shame in having a parent in prison. Slowly, the children stopped trying to talk about their daddy, whom they still deeply missed.
Enter Camp David. Clayton was the first to get to experience Camp David. His first year at camp, Clayton learned HE was not bad, HE was not destined to be bad simply because his dad had done something bad. He learned that He was not bad for loving his dad. He learned that just because his dad had done something bad didn’t even mean his dad was BAD.
My older daughter was the second to go to camp…..She was engaging in self harm and running full speed down a path of total destruction. In her mind she was already tarnished and there was no sense in trying to do good when her fate was already sealed and there was no getting back. Camp introduced her to other kids who also had an incarcerated parent, and she realized she was NOT alone. The friends she made at camp were not repulsive people, so perhaps… she was also less repulsive than what she had originally thought. She was valuable despite how people’s reactions had made her feel. The friendships she developed at camp literally saved her life. She is still very dependent on those friendships and no longer has a sense of isolation.
As a mom, it is heart wrenching to see your children suffer.

Camp David has a “Mom’s Retreat” for the caregivers of their camp kids. Finally! People who GET it! People who feel the way I feel. People who don’t recoil when they hear my story. People who understand the challenges of raising kids through so much guilt and shame. This was life-changing for me. While everyone else abandoned us, God had not and He finally had provided me with the relationships I needed to be the mom my kids needed.”

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