The Family Support Council and Camp AIM are based on the belief that all children … all children … have the right to be valued, and the right to live in a safe, healthy environment where they can grow into their human potential.
For us, and probably almost all the people that we know, that doesn’t sound like that big of an ASK. We take it for granted that we will keep our children safe … that we will protect them from … in the words of our sacrament of baptism … “the perils of childhood”.
When these childhood perils tragically include sexual abuse, that victimized child will most certainly carry that experience for life. The way that burden is carried can make the difference toward a successful life.
So, that’s where the FSC and Camp AIM come in, and it’s why this church is such an ardent supporter.
Camp AIM stands for Adventures in ME. It’s a 2-week therapeutic day camp where kids from kindergarten age through high school come together and interact with peer victims and trained counselors and teachers. Each day, in their group sessions these kids work on self-esteem, strategies for keeping themselves safe, and … for me, this is the most heart-wrenching … learning to trust again, and finding the courage to believe that it was not their fault.
The FSC was formed in 1980. Over the years, various programs under the FSC umbrella have grown to the point where now each year it serves over 16,000 individuals. Camp AIM was started in 1992, and now serves about 40 kids each summer, plus or minus. Peggy started our family’s support over 20 years ago. About 6 years ago, when I heard about the poor quality of the food provided to the Camp, the decision was easy. I knew I couldn’t fix the kids, but I could fix food for them.
So, our participation as a church has grown to the point where we now prepare and serve both breakfast and lunch for both weeks. In total, we contribute well over 100 hours of service each year. The Mission Committee now provides the money to buy the food, and about 25 of you, my dear friends, give of your time and talent to pick up, prepare and serve healthy meals to these beautiful kids.
The Camp is always the first 2 full weeks in June. Some time in late April or early May, I’ll begin communicating with everyone who is on my volunteer roster. Huge thanks and gratitude to everyone that I’ve had the privilege of working with over the past few years, and a big invitation to any of you who can help during next year’s Camp. I don’t ever want to NOT do Camp AIM. There’s a bit of work to it. But, it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do. Mark your calendars, and consider joining us this year.