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February 28, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

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February 28, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

Camp Horizon is a reminder to me that there is so much more that can be done to protect our most precious gifts from God. I support Camp Horizon with both my time and finances because I know that it makes a positive impact in the lives of young people. Every child deserves a loving, supportive and stable family, however life has been unfair to numerous children. Camp Horizon is working to bridge this gap. They do this by setting good examples, encouraging good decision-making, and by letting the children know that they and not their circumstances determine their destiny.
I work for a non-profit that provides life saving organs and tissues to those in need of a transplant. All too many times while visiting the intensive care units I have witnessed the saddest outcome of children that are abused and neglected. These children were not only failed by their parents but by their community. Camp Horizon is one of the few community organizations that have been courageous enough to answer this beacon call to action year after year, by fortifying youth with self worth and pride, in short, they are building a better community.
In this world, it is my belief that we are all connected to one another, if one of us suffers then all of us suffers in some indirect way. Having said that, there is no way that I could have learned about Camp Horizon and its mission and not join it, in answering the call to action.

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Will you volunteer or donate to this organization beyond what is required of board members?

Definitely

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you tell others about this organization?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

February 28, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

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February 28, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

I have been volunteering with Camp Horizon since 2008. This organization means more to me than what I can put into words. The work that Camp Horizon does is incredible. My experience with working with these amazing children has taught me many things. Camp Horizon is very well run and organized. The director and all of the other members that run the organization work tirelessly to make Camp Horizon awesome. The first year I came to Camp as a counselor I was so nervous and really had no idea what I was getting myself into, however I had so much support and encouragement from the staff that it made the week go by smoothly. I look forward to be able to come back to Camp Horizon for many years.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

February 28, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

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February 28, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

I have been a volunteer for Camp Horizon for the past 30 years. I am now a volunteer, Board Member and financial donor. I am a complete convert. I was the camp nurse at the first Camp Horizon event in 1982 and have been involved in a variety of ways since. As we serve the needs of children in state custody, unconditional acceptance and respect for all persons are our guiding forces.

By the time children are in DFCS custody, there has been extreme chaos in their homes of origin. Foster children are shuffled from placement to placement, often without prior knowledge of changes forthcoming, and almost exclusively without any input regarding their preference. Despite the best efforts of case managers and foster parents, these children often feel unwanted, unloveable, and disenfranchised.

Camp Horizon offers these wounded children a safe place to begin to understanding their intrinsic value as human beings. Every activity of our Summer Camp program is carefully designed to help increase the self-esteem of these kids. The most effective way that happens, and the most unique aspect of Camp Horizon is that each child is provided with his/her own personal mentor. The people who volunteer to be counselors know that they will be assigned to be a buddy to one kid for the following week. These one to one pairings become relationships of acceptance and friendship and absolutely transform these children. They often arrive withdrawn and full of doubt and fear. During the week, throughout the classes, fun and challenges and successes, these same children absolutely blossom. They are given the affirming attention all children deserve.

While we accept the children as they come to us, they learn that we do not accept all behaviors. Our values are "the 3 R's--Respect, Responsibility and Resilience." These concepts are infused into all activities and reinforced by both counselors and administrative staff. The result of this healthy environment is that children learn to believe in their own value as they learn to make positive decisions regarding their lives. Very quickly they learn the connection between actions and consequences, both positive and negative. Once they make that discovery, they begin to appreciate and own the power they do have to change their lives. They learn they CAN control their decisions and find themselves empowered in unexpected ways.

These values continue through our Leadership Development Program for teens and young adults. We concentrate on building character and learning critical life skills. By the time these teens become adults they have had meaningful, impactful relationships with responsible and safe adults for a number of years. It is from these kids that we learned that they regard Camp Horizon as the consistent, dependable family that they needed and lacked in their lives. We grow to care deeply for these children, to be very invested in their choices and successes and in doing so, they experience the joy and importance of a healthy family.

Camp Horizon began from the efforts of well-intentioned people who wanted to contribute to the community. "Well-intentioned" remains a fit descriptor for the people involved with Camp, but it is hardly sufficient. Camp Horizon is comprised of an extraordinary group of community members who believe wholly in the vision of providing a new and better day for children in foster care. Our roster of staff and volunteers includes people from a wide variety of professions with extraordinary skill and expertise. There are people who work with children professionally--teachers, psychotherapists, social workers, child advocates, members of the health care community, and moms and dads. However, there are many others who bring personal and professional talents and skills to Camp Horizon born simply from their personal passion to provide positive intervention into the lives of children in foster care. We believe that is DOES "take a village" and Camp Horizon's village is unparalleled.

Over the years, my role has become that of "Camp Mom." It is a privilege and honor to be regarded as a mother figure to these kids. My role involves a lot of structuring and hugging. Having been involved for so many years, I have been able to develop relationships with kids that have endured from childhood to adulthood. Without exception, each of these young adults speak of the extraordinary impact that being a part of the Camp Horizon family has had on their lives. They remark that their years of involvement have changed the trajectory of their lives. They learn the power of hope and effort. They experience the exhilaration of challenges met and problems resolved. They learn personal responsibility and personal forgiveness. They learn that some people are worthy of their trust as they are genuinely invested in the progression of their lives.

Other than parenting my own children, being involved with Camp Horizon has been the most challenging and most rewarding experience of my life. My heart has been broken and mended time and time again. To be able to consistently contribute to and observe the transformation and transcendence of these children's lives is nothing short of miraculous. These kids are funny, brave and full of heart. They are endlessly curious and surprisingly insightful. They are brave beyond words and have hearts that are both fragile and strong. Once they learn to trust, their lives just open up in ways that we have grown to expect, but in ways that continue to surprise, delight and inspire us. We learn, we laugh and we love. Camp Horizon provides for these kids the opportunity for a new day, a better day on the horizon. We take that responsibility very seriously. Every person involved is better for it. We are rewarded far beyond what we give.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

February 27, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

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February 27, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

I have been volunteering with Camp Horizon since 2001. I learned about the organization through my then boyfriend, now husband and became a counselor. I had no idea what would happen as a counselor, but the experiences that I have had there have truly changed my life. The organization's mission is to serve the needs of a desperately underserved population, metro Atlanta children who are in or have been in the foster care system, due to abuse or neglect. The unfathomable strength and effect of this organization goes so much further than I ever realized. We become family to these children. As a counselor I got the privilege of getting to know a child, spending time with her, introducing her to new activities and showering her with encouragement and affection. However, as the years went by, I watched my 9 year old camper turn into a 19 year old young woman. The year round programming allows the volunteers the privilege of regular contact with these children....and these children, who sometimes have NO consistency in their lives, consistency, stability. They know that when they come to a Camp Horizon event there will be so many familiar faces with HUGE open arms. It has truly been an honor to watch our campers come to camp as bright eyed 8 or 9 year olds...moving into fun, sassy, smart teenagers...and then developing into young adults, exploring their adult lives, attending college and pursuing their dreams...and assisting them every step of the way. Camp Horizon is truly a FAMILY in the dream sense of the world. Many real life families are dysfunctional and our children often are the ultimate victims of that in their own families. But Camp Horizon is the ideal family...love, support, and understanding abound. All you need to do is come and we are there for you. I think that organizations such as Camp Horizon are extremely rare and I am honored to be a part of this family year after year.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

February 27, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

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February 27, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

My wife and I have been supporters of Camp Horizon for many years now. My support is limited however Diana’s is immense. I am proud of being a supporter for her and all the volunteers that give their time for a great cause. Throughout the years I have attended some events and have always been impressed by the passion and commitment that is shown for the children. On top of this the children are impressive, and it is fun to watch them mature into fine adults. Camp Horizon is a top notch organization and I would encourage anyone to lend their support to this passionate, dedicated, and loving group of people who in the end do it all for the children.

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Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

February 27, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

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February 27, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

When you hear the campers talk about Camp Horizon as part of their family, you begin to see the impact that the Camp Horizon organization has had on the lives of so many wonderful children. Since 1996, I have volunteered with Camp Horizon as a counselor, a life skills instructor, a part of the camp staff and as a volunteer for the programs and events throughout the year. The love, commitment and support of the volunteers and donors provides consistent year round programs and events to provide that sense of family for all the children who come through the summer camp program. It is very humbling to see kids who were once campers when i first volunteered many years ago, now as mature adults on their own path to success due in part from the life skills they learned and the unconditional love they received as part of the Camp Horizon Family.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

February 27, 2013
4 people found this review helpful

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February 27, 2013
4 people found this review helpful

It is so hard to put the beauty, hope and community that is Camp Horizon into words. It is a blessing to be part of a group that is giving these amazing children a place to call home and people to call family.

I have witnessed many miracles that have happened for these children as a
result of coming to Camp. As a psychologist who has respect for the time that any personal change takes, it is particularly impressive to see children make changes so quickly at camp. I had a camper whose adoption was about to be disrupted by her adoptive parents due to her aggressive behavior, however her behavior changed so dramatically for the better after camp they were able to keep her in their family. I could write pages and pages about the amazing things I have seen happen for children. However, I think the words of former campers who have stayed in contact with us are even more meaningful.

"Often I couldn't bring anything with me from foster home to foster home, but I always carried my plaque my counselor wrote to me in my hands so I could always read it when things got too hard."

"It really does a lot for someone who feels alone and like they have no one. It gave me something to look forward to, which in foster care is a rare thing."

"You were caring and sensitive to me. It was a very different experience for someone in their life who never had that."

"I had never been around anyone who went to college before I met you. After knowing you were in school I thought I could do that too! You inspired me to do something better with my life."

"I come from a long line of people who thought I was a waste of human existence. Hearing these things makes you wonder if it is true. At camp they thought I was extraordinary and wonderful. At camp, I was really something. Just knowing that makes me try even harder to be a better person today."



More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

February 27, 2013
4 people found this review helpful

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February 27, 2013
4 people found this review helpful

I have volunteered with Camp Horizon for the past 13 years. I have served as a summer camp counselor, self esteem and arts and crafts instructor, program director and volunteer. It has been beyond powerful to watch the summer campers (aged 8-11) grow into responsible and resilient young leaders.

As a past program director for the Camp Horizon Leadership Development Program, it was always very powerful to see, hear and watch these young men and women show what they have learned through their camp experiences. They work together as a team, support each other during challenges, articulate their own strengths and weaknesses, and are willing to put energy into changing their own lives.

As a Special Education teacher, I am dedicated to helping change be brought to our world. Camp Horizon brings positive change and unconditional love to children who deserve it and need it to survive. While a small organization, the energy, love and family that has dedicated itself to helping foster children in Atlanta is contagious.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

February 27, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

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February 27, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

I was introduced to the camp horizon organization last year. I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to serve as a volunteer summer camp counselor, and even luckier to be invited back this summer. I cannot put into words how amazing my week at summer camp was and how much it made a difference in my life. As a camp counselor, I was able to bear witness to the positive impact camp horizon made on so many kids in the Atlanta metro foster care system. The camp horizon organization and the people who serve this organization are so special and inspiring. The most amazing thing about this organization to me is that it provides a family and stability for kids that so desperately need it. Once a child goes to camp horizon, they are invited back every year from 8-11 years old. Every child is paired with one counselor (1 to 1) so that for one whole week they have constant access to attention, affirmations, encouragement, and unconditional love. And when possible, they are paired up with the same counselor each year so that a friendship/mentorship can grow and each child can have an adult in their life that loves them and supports them. Camp Horizon also has regular reunions, events, and outings throughout the year. I have been lucky enough to attend a Christmas party, a circus outing, and I look forward to the upcoming spring reunion. At each of those events, I have been able to reunite with my camper and see how she is doing. They also have programs for teens and many campers that are now adults, come back to events and stay in touch with the staff. The teen program has a weekend camp retreat and events throughout the year as well. Camp Horizon teaches every child that they are a promise, they are a possibility, a great big bundle of potentiality. It teaches these kids to love themselves, believe in themselves, to never give up, and know above all things that they are loved.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

February 27, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

more

February 27, 2013
3 people found this review helpful

Camp Horizon is an intentional program designed to promote the self worth and self efficacy of every child who attends. I have had professional experiences in both working for DFCS as a case manager and currently as a psychotherapist providing mental health counseling to children and families. In both roles, I have been impressed by the impact that Camp Horizon has on every child who attends. This impact has spread into the families of these children as they come home after an event and share their experience and lessons learned. Foster mothers have provided feedback that their foster children have come home "a different child" after attending summer camp with Camp Horizon.

Working with troubled children daily allows me to see the long term effects of positive self image and unconditional support-Camp Horizon provides both of these to their campers. The curriculum is designed to build the self esteem of each child while the counselors serve as support systems for these children. For every child, regardless of their background, culture, socioeconomic status, they need to feel capable, lovable, and resilient. The magic of Camp Horizon revolves around providing these experiences to each child-teaching them skills so they learn their capabilities, providing appropriate and consistent love and support, and teaching them about their resiliency. These are just some of the many benefits to these children who attend camp.

Both professionally and personally, I feel that Camp Horizon truly makes a difference for each person who is a part of it. Summer Camp is a theraputic experience for these deserving children and young adults.

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How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

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