It’s all about the kids! Yes, we need a trained volunteer team, a facility, funding, food and lots of other important pieces to make each Camp Noah event happen. However, these pieces are just the foundation for the most important element: our campers.
Helping campers face their fears, learn new resiliency skills and find hope after a disaster is a rewarding experience. In the aftermath of disasters, parents and other adults in a child’s life are attending to the immediate needs of recovery. Camp Noah can help children process their disaster experience and find hope. As children share their experiences in a safe environment, their smiles, laughter, tears, honesty and wisdom are evidence of deeper healing.
Among many incredible moments at camp, here are a few that stand out:
- When discussing what hopes they had for the future, a camper said, "I have no hope." The other campers rallied around him, encouraging and supporting him. Finally, he admitted that secretly he wants to grow up and become a doctor so he can help people.
- A camper had verbally-limiting autism and was terrified when he arrived at camp Monday morning. The environment, although warm and friendly, was new to him. After about an hour, he adjusted and seemed to enjoy the remainder of the day. On Monday evening, the Site Coordinator received this text from the camper’s mother: “Thank you so much for loving [our son] and making him feel special in a good way, instead of special because of his disabilities. [He] asked to pray over dinner tonight. This was a first. His prayer went like this: ‘Dear God, thank you for my family. Thank you for Camp Noah. Thank you, God, for all the fun I had today. Please don’t let Camp Noah ever, ever end. Please make the night go fast so I can go back tomorrow!’”
- On day two, after a camper had shared his storm story, another camper in the small group told him he was really brave for sharing his story and thanked him.
- Best of all, 99 percent of campers said they had fun at Camp Noah this year!
You can learn more about our impact by reading our annual reports.