The Trust has continued to work with the Homeless Children's Foundation this year to help provide outdoor activities for young people from troubled backgrounds.
Our funding enabled 14 young people to attend one of two camps that took place on Pelican Island in the Audubon reserve. Huge thanks to Donna, director of the Foundation, and volunteer Alexis who helped guide and encourage the children. Donna shared one experience from the camp "Three troubled sisters arrived at the camp filled with sadness and anger. I made a point of giving them each special attention and soon discovered how smart they were. The two youngest were avid readers, so one day after kayaking we went to the used bookstore and I bought them two books each. They absolutely loved reading the books during free time!”
Building self esteem
These camps focus on mental health and self-esteem in their curriculum and find creative ways to introduce environmental studies to the young learners. Being out in nature provides an idea environment for them to learn more about themselves and how to deal with some of the problems they encounter in life. They are taught the three basic ground rules: “respect one another, nature, and yourself.”
The camp organisers provided a rich and varied itinerary which included journaling, kayaking to Pelican Island, hiking, birding and simply taking in the beautiful outdoors of Vero. The young guests were encouraged to take notes on their discoveries during the course of the week. Environmental responsibility is a message that is reinforced during these camps and a trash pick-up helped them understand the importance of keeping their surroundings clean.
““Your organisation continues to inspire me every year! What you do is profound and I am so honoured to be a little part helping educate some of these wonderful children and give them a chance to enjoy summer in nature.”
““Donna and Alexis always go above and beyond, providing nourishing snacks, taking a special interest in the teens they see are struggling the most, and accommodating our transient group!”
These camps show time and time again how giving children time and attention and exposing them to nature and the great outdoors can have such a beneficial effect. We are delighted to be able to help the Foundation carry on this vital work.