Children Head to Camp HOPE

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REDDING, Calif. –It’s a camp for children who have been exposed to domestic violence physical or sexual abuse, according to Emily Westphal, Director of Prevention and Child Services with One Safe Place.

Joshua Hatrick, 10, has gone to the camp the last three years.

“It’s a great place to be during the summer,” he noted. “It feels really relaxing, and it’s a place where you can get new friends.”

Westphal explained she hopes the children learn that they are not alone.
“A lot of times abuse can make someone feel pretty isolated in their experience,” she said. “So it’s important for them to know that there are other kids and other adults who’ve had those same experiences, but who’ve come out the other side stronger and better and able to heal.”

Hatrick said he learned to face his fears, saying he was afraid of clowns.
“I don’t imagine them,” Hatrick stated.

While Hatrick faces his fears another camper, Ariana Rider, said she learned to respect others.
Hatrick and Rider both love the activities the camp has to offer.
“You go horse back riding.  You get to go swimming,” she said.
Hatrick explained his favorite part is the campfire.

This is also a learning experience for the parents.
“Their parents come here to One Safe Place and attend work shops and parenting strategies,” Westphal noted. “We give them some extra tools, extra support so that when their kids come back they can continue this progress moving forward.”

The camp is free to those who are selected.

Westphal added if a child wants to go to the camp he or she has to be nominated  by a service provider partner, such as a social worker or counselor. Then the child will go through a selection process.

If you would like to make a donation to send a child to Camp HOPE click here.

Dozen of children hopped onto a bus headed to Camp HOPE in Siskiyou County on Sunday. The camp is hosted by One Safe Place.

 

Cristina-Davies-picBy Cristina Davies, cdavies@bontencalifornia.com