Royal Family Kids Camp
Royal Family KIDS is a 501(c)3 charity that provides free summer camps and a comprehensive, school year Clubs and Mentors program for children in foster care.
Royal Family Kids Camp
Royal Family KIDS is a 501(c)3 charity that provides free summer camps and a comprehensive, school year Clubs and Mentors program for children in foster care. We have served over 70,000 children since our inception in 1985 and enlisted over 87,000 volunteers who give a week each year of their time. This year, RFK will have 190 camps around the world serving 6,270 children. Our camps are sponsored locally by churches, individuals and corporate partners who seek to stand together to benefit children of abuse and neglect through the power of positive memories.
“It was life changing, and I am not sure I will ever be able to process what I saw and experienced that week.” Friends and family asked over and over how my week at Royal Family Kids Camp went, and this is the honest answer I would give them. It took me a few days to be able to process what exactly happened. For a week, adults and teens alike put their lives on pause, and dedicate their time to change the lives of over 20 kids currently in the foster care system. As the Mental Health Professional for Royal Family Kids Camp for the greater Hammond Louisiana area, I got to witness first-hand how love and unconditional acceptance can change the life of a child.
Every person at camp comes away with “the story of the one”, meaning the one kid that made an impression on you for a lifetime. Mine was Shelly. Shelly came to camp extremely scared and untrusting of everyone. She refused to talk or make eye contact with anyone. For the first few days she stayed to herself and put up a walls to protect herself. Very rarely would she even whisper a need to someone close to her. Her counselor worked tirelessly to make her feel welcomed and included, and by the end of the week Shelly was singing and dancing on stage at the talent show with the rest of her group. This is what RFK does, and Shelly is no exception to the rule. We saw kids learn to ride bikes for the first time, conquer their fear of water, and connect with others for the first time in their lives. This week gives children who have been abused and neglected the chance to feel loved and accepted. It gives them a chance to step away from their life as a foster kid and be a kid. Tea parties, adventure nights and a birthday party where each camper had a cake with their name on it, were just a few of the events these kiddos got to experience. I have been asked, does one week really make a difference? Let me ask you, does love make a difference? Can you remember a time when someone make an impression on you?
At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel. -Maya Angelou
The hope is to leave an impression on these kiddos. To show them how valuable, loved, and precious they are. If they can look back on their week at camp and know someone out there truly loves them then, camp worked.
-Katie Mcelveen, M.ED, LPC