PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WMBB)– While going to summer camp may be an experience most take for granted, it’s a special privilege for children in foster care who may face different battles and often have little time to just be a kid.
That’s where Camp Hero comes in. The entire camp is designed to host as 200 foster care children from the area and across the nation, and allow them to experience the fun of being kids all week long with as few worries as possible.
“Children in foster care suffer from PTSD at a rate twice as high as what is seen in our war veterans,” Owens said.
Owens has four biological children himself, but he and his wife have decided to adopt two more children since moving to the area.
Owens said the camp is called “Camp Hero” as many foster children should be hailed as heroes for handling challenging life situations with such grace.
“They have all experienced a traumatic event that led them to being in foster care, so we want to provide something special for them this summer,” said Owens.
The camp stems from the non-profit Every Child Home, which seeks to connect children in foster care with fit homes.
Camp Hero will take place July 19-23 at the Laguna Beach Christian Retreat Center. Owens said they will have activities like basketball, volleyball, swimming and water games. One of their main events will be a birthday celebration, as Owens explained many children in foster care often do not have the opportunity to celebrate their birthdays. He also said that campers will have access to licensed counseling staff.
The cost of the camp is $500 and covers all meals, lodging, and camp activities. Owens said that scholarships can be awarded for attendees. He’s also encouraging the community to donate to Every Child Home as all of the profits collected through May 15 will directly benefit Camp Hero. In addition, the camp is also looking for volunteers.
For more information on how to sponsor an attendee or make a donation go to their website, or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.