Our Youth Programs at Harbor House thrive in the summer months when school is not in session. We offer Camp HOPE, Pathways, and Trailblazers to children using Harbor House services. All programs are designed to provide our little survivors with STEAM opportunities, relationship-building, and healing from their trauma. One of the most impactful summer programs is Camp HOPE America.
Camp HOPE is a week-long sleepaway camp where campers are challenged to step outside of their comfort zone and accomplish an activity they haven’t had the opportunity to before, in order to overcome their fears. Camp HOPE shows youth that there is hope for overcoming adversity, abuse, and other real life challenges. Hope is defined as believing in yourself, believing in others, and believing in dreams. 64 brave campers, 18 from Harbor House, ventured to Camp HOPE to overcome their fears and find hope. One brave camper shared a special story about their defining moment at Camp HOPE.
*Mason came from a background witnessing abuse and overcoming homelessness, where he once lived in the woods. He was a first timer at Camp HOPE and faced a major fear on the third day of camp, the rock climbing wall. He geared up and set on his journey to reach the top of the wall. He started his climb, looked down, and froze. Campers and counselors cheered his name and encouraged him by saying he could do it and they believed in him. He took a deep breath and continued to climb until he made it to the top. Mason reached the top, looked around at the treetops, and said, “I see hope”. Everyone cheered for his major accomplishment. He not only overcame his fear of the rock climbing wall, but he opened up to his peer campers and counselors because he felt safe with them. By the end of camp, Mason even asked if he could call his camp counselors because he would miss them. Mason not only found hope, he believed in his dreams of reaching the top of the wall, defining hope in his ability to overcome challenging obstacles.
Camp HOPE focuses on creating hope and healing-centered pathways through collaborative, trauma-informed care for youth exposed to trauma to believe in themselves, in others, and their dreams. Mason and the 63 other campers are testament that it is possible to overcome real life challenges and that they are not alone in the journey. A future of hope and healing is ahead for these campers and the trauma they have endured is in the past.