Saturday, October 22, 2011

Camp Life

Wow. I had an amazing weekend this past weekend. Children’s Aid Society, my employer, hosted a camp for 14 and 15 year olds in foster care for three days and I enjoyed myself more than I can put into words. Many of these children will end up aging out of foster care, meaning they are on their own at 21. Completely on their own. No mom and dad to come running back to when they need money, no parents to encourage them to go to college, nowhere to go for Christmas, no one to call when they have a good day or a bad day. Can you even imagine? I STILL need my mommy and daddy!! :)

Check out these startling statistics…one in four of the 20,000 foster care youth who age out of the child welfare system each year are incarcerated within two years, one in five become homeless and only half graduate from high school. I encourage you to read this article on “The Aging Out Dilemma Plaguing the Foster Care System.”

It is so so sad to see. However, this camp was amazing for these kids, and for all of us that worked it! We did regular camp activities such as rock climbing, zip tower, archery, painting, etc. and then we also had workshops that taught sex ed, nutrition, exercise, budgeting, etc. Real life skills that these kids are really going to need. I can’t post any pictures of the kids because of confidentiality, but here is me…

zip line Zip-lining! Can you find me?

archery Archery! My first time shooting a bow and I got all 5 arrows on the target!

Before camp I was dreading it and scared of what we might encounter. That’s a tough population and I historically do not like teenagers. BUT I loved it! I got to see a side of these kids that I normally don’t see. I work with a lot of families that are struggling with their teenagers and when I teach GPS classes I am preparing these families for the worst case scenario. And this camp showed me that these really are great kids! They have challenges in their past and in their future, but they are great kids who are fun to be around and there’s more to them than their struggles.

In all honesty I left thinking…I could do this…I could adopt a teenager. Wow…what am I saying? :) I bonded with my girls so much that I really would prayerfully consider adopting one of them if they ever became available for adoption. Never in my life would I have thought I would say that, but I just did. So there you go. Don’t be surprised if you see me stalking Heart Gallery Alabama and AdoptUsKids looking for my girls pictures…


  1. That is sweet that you feel you could adopt a teenager...I guess I've never thought about it, but they need a family more than ever.

    All they need is love, someone to trust, and someone who believes in them.

    I used to work on an adolescent behavioral health unit of a hospital--their behaviors/attitudes directly reflected their family situation...or lack thereof.

    Anyways, camp week sounded great!

  2. AWW!! I love teenagers and hope to adopt them one day! :)

    I am glad you had a great time at camp... I wish I could have been there!

  3. Lisa,

    You are such a blessing to so many people. I thank God often for having you a part of my life.

    You are doing amazing things with these children. My only wish was that I lived closer, so I could help you out!

  4. I'm so glad to hear your camp experience was better than you imagined! Thanks for sharing the statistics about the foster care system. Some of those facts I didn't know.