Executive Director Angela Jones announced today that One Safe Place has entered a new collaboration with Family Dynamics Resource Center to support Camp HOPE Shasta. “This is an exciting new development in providing services for Shasta County children. Camper capacity will be increased, and staff, counselor and partner participation will be strengthened year-round.” Family Dynamics has been an on-site partner with One Safe Place for more than 10 years. “This collaboration strengthens our ability to help children and families, pulling our resources together makes sense, not only will more children be able to attend camp, they will also benefit from our year-round, Camp Hero program.” Said Dr. Sandra Wilson, Executive Clinical Director at Family Dynamics Resource Center. Now OSP and Family Dynamics are working together offering year-round support through our Camp Hero program. This ongoing program offers children opportunities to “believe in themselves, believe in others and believe in their dreams” which are key concepts of what the children learn through Camp Hope Shasta. Through this collaboration we will refer OSP children into Camp Hope Shasta at the Sierra Center. Children and families will also be able to participate in parenting programs, and other mental health services that support children.
Obviously, this year’s Camp HOPE Shasta has faced challenges because of Covid-19, and we have taken all necessary precautions to safeguard our Camp HOPE Shasta families. Overnight camps were cancelled, and campers were mailed a “care package” that included their Camp HOPE Shasta t-shirt, water bottle, and Camp booklet. Counselors and staff will stay in contact with campers through phone, mail, Zoom, and Youtube videos to offer support and mentorship. Plans are being made for the coming month’s activities, to include safe, outside, socially distanced events.
Camp OSP was created in 2017 in order to provide more opportunity for children to benefit from a Camp experience. One Safe Place was previously a participant in Camp Hope. When the Camp HOPE Shasta program came under the larger jurisdiction of Camp HOPE California in 2016, the resulting capacity for Shasta County children to attend was reduced by 25%. As a direct result of this change, and in order to provide the opportunity for more Shasta County children to attend camp, Camp OSP was created. However, recently changes have been made which will again increase camper capacity through Camp HOPE.
This year the overarching Camp HOPE California reverted primary control back to the local agencies which serve as the host for Camp HOPE to operate within that specific county. This is reflective of the initial programmatic structure which was present before Camp OSP was created. In light of this development and the increase in camper capacity within the Camp HOPE Shasta program, the need for Camp OSP has dramatically diminished. While the cessation of Camp OSP is imminent, this change has brought about exciting new developments as we have decided to collaborate closely with our on-site partner, Family Dynamics, which is the current host agency for Camp HOPE Shasta. This change gives us the opportunity to pool resources to send children to Camp HOPE Shasta and strengthen on-going programs to create collective impact year-round rather than have duplication with Camp OSP. Rather than try and compete for resources to run both Camp HOPE Shasta and Camp OSP within the same county, both agencies have decided to come together in unison to provide a higher caliber of services for the children of our community. We believe we will be stronger together! This new collaboration will allow the best parts of Camp OSP to continue by strengthening the mentoring opportunities with local partners such as law enforcement, Haven Humane, Redding Rancheria, and United Shasta that provide additional activities outside of the camp experience, strengthening community connections to build self-esteem, increase protective factors, and most importantly build resiliency and hope in each child.
Camp is an important experience for children who have been exposed to trauma, helping to build resiliency and protective factors. Campers realize that they are not alone and that there are others who have been through similar experiences and understand. Bonding takes place between campers, counselors, and staff and creates the framework for on-going mentoring and support.
“Hope is the one thing no one can ever take away from me,” said one volunteer counselor to a crowd of campers and fellow counselors while standing in front of a campfire. Sharing his personal story of healing, he expressed to those around him how Camp changed his life.
Our camp family is a true example of what investments of love and time can mean for children who have experienced trauma.
There was hope in the words he shared; hope for a better life and proof that abused children are not destined to repeat the path of a violent parent.
“In Shasta County, over 6,000 children are reported as not having a single caring adult or mentor in their life, and over 13,000 children will be exposed to family violence this year.”
Quotes From Our Campers
“Camp changed my life 3 years ago. It helped me trust people again.” -Gina, 14
“Camp has changed my life, without hope there is really nothing in life. At camp, I learned how to focus more and be grateful for what I have.” -Michelle, 11
“Before camp, I was a messed up kid. I was getting in a lot of trouble. My life wasn’t going very well. Camp helped me through a lot of stuff.” -Carl, 13
Sponsor a camper for just $400 per child!
It is thanks in large part to our generous community that Camp HOPE Shasta has been made possible for local youth since 2012. We hope you will continue to support One SAFE Place and our efforts to help youth in our community to believe in themselves, believe in others, and believe in their dreams.
If you would like to apply to be a camp counselor, contact the Prevention Department at 530-244-0118 ext. 220