Camp Horizon is a camp fur kids who have been neglected or abused of in foster care. They offer a one week camp in the summer and also outings through out the year. I was 8 years old when I started attending camp Horizon!!! I'm 27 and still consider this amazing group family!!! They make sure that through a 1 on 1 ration that you feel loved!!! They give you strength and tools to be resilient in life!!! We understand that life gas dealt us a rough hand in the foster care system but they make sure that you know how to play it!! Camp Horizon has changed my life and I'm happy to still be a part of a wonderful organization!!!
This summer was my first time volunteering with Camp Horizon, and it was nothing short of extraordinary. I volunteered for the week long summer camp in which each adult is paired with one amazing child to give them the attention, praise, love, and encouragement they deserve. It was wonderful to watch my camper flourish throughout the week. She accomplished everything she put her mind to, and I was so sad when we had to part on the last day, but it was great knowing that it was not "good-bye" because Camp Horizon has many events throughout the year for everyone to enjoy. This organization is truly a family, for the kids and for the volunteers, and I am so lucky to be a part of it.
As a first year volunteer, I cannot tell you how much Camp Horizon meant to me and taught me. It is by far the most wonderful and impactful organization I have ever worked with for the children it serves and the volunteers themselves. I'm already counting down the days until next years camp!
REMARKABLE! This was my first year to volunteer with Camp Horizon and I am so grateful I got to be a part of the Camp Horizon Family. A dedicated, committed, loyal and loving family that is focused on loving, encouraging and embracing young people from the Foster Care system. It was a week long Hug-Fest reminding the children that we see them , we love and we believe they are important. Encouraging them to be Responsible, Resilient, and Respectful! The attention to Self-Esteem is amazing! Blessings!
I can barely put into words how inspiring and magical Camp Horizon is. After just one week with some amazing children, I'm hooked. This dedicated organization gave their campers an opportunity they might not otherwise have gotten: to be seen and valued by adults who truly love them. The work that Camp Horizon does yields real results that you can see right away. I can't think of a more worthy reason to volunteer!
24 months ago I had never heard of Camp Horizon. I worked for a company that valued service to the community and I learned about them through that program. I really wanted to help and decided to give it a try....I'm hooked for life.
This is my second year and I was amazed at the difference we make in these children's lives. It was there for me to see from last year to this year. The confidence, self-esteem, and respect for others that we help instill in each child. Each kid is different and they all have unique needs but each kid I have met in the program benefits in some way. They learn to trust again and be open to the possibility of a bright future. I can only speak for myself, but I feel Camp Horizon gives the campers and volunteers hope for the future. Breaking the cycle of dysfunction is so important to these kids at an early age. This program makes such an impact on kids that will be members of society for dozen's of years. To me there is no greater investment we could make. I wish we could bring every kid in foster care to camp and we had the resources and people-power to make it happen. I have personally witnessed miraculous changes in these kids from just 2 volunteer trips to camp. They have grown in great ways and with our help, allowed them to embrace their strengths, avoid bad life decisions, and understand good core values that will allow them to be happy in life (giving of themselves, compassion, empathy, dealing with negative feelings in a healthy way, setting goals and achieving them, etc).
I do not begrudge any other charity out there that helps children, but Camp Horizon is a program that is proven to work and help kids onto productive, rewarding, and happy lives. There is no greater gift that you could give a child that is hurt, confused, and neglected. The staff and support volunteers are also incredible in helping to ensure that camp is focused on each child's development and fun. Working here for the second year and seeing the older kids graduate has inspired me to join the next phase of the charity's efforts which is LDP (Leadership Development Program). This is where the 12 to 18 year olds are mentored further and taught life skills they will need in the world. I really want to see these kids succeed and do whatever I can to ensure that happens.
No program is perfect or 100% successful but I feel that Camp Horizon embodies the the best blend of love, compassion, coaching, structure, self-esteem, emotional coping skills, healthy decision making, and purposeful living that I have ever been a part of. I have never felt more alive and fulfilled as I have at Camp Horizon.
I signed up to be a Camp Counselor for a week and I cannot say enough things about this organization and the impact it had on the kids that attended. The kids and the program are truly inspirational. What they do is not a band-aid for kids in pain. It truly shows all of the kids that there is hope and people (especially adults) who want them to succeed and grow up to be good people with lives of their own. The week I spent as a counselor taught me so much about myself and how wonderful and resilient children can be. Camp Horizon gives every kid the self-respect, courage, and support that they need or maybe are not getting in their regular lives. The 1 to 1 ratio of campers and counselors is crucial in ensuring that every kid not only has fun but has a great role model that is focused on them for the entire week of camp. Many of these kids are not used to that level of adult attention and supervision. Each child reacts differently to this but ultimately I witnessed every kid change just over the course of a week. They began respecting themselves and those around them. They got to experience a true community and see how everyone helps out and does their part. The staff and support people behind the scenes love everyone of these kids and it was so evident that everyone there is focused on the mission of Camp Horizon and reaching as many kids as they can. As I mentioned earlier, there is 1 to 1 counselor to camper ratio. This means that volunteers like me are in short supply. This could use more than donations and sponsors...every charity can but ultimately Camp Horizon succeeds with the donation of people's time. That is what really made the difference for each camper...not money, or toys, or other material items....but dedicated time from a responsible adult spent with each child is what allows them to see that there is another way in life and that there are reliable, trustworthy people in this world that want to help them. PLEASE PLEASE consider donating your time so that Camp Horizon can reach more children in the future. This group of people is truly helping kids that are going to lead long lives. Preparing them for that life and how to deal with its ups and downs is crucial to their success...this is what Camp Horizon does so very well.
I have been a Board member at several other nonprofits and religious organizations, and Camp Horizon stands out. The most prominent reason is its tenacity. Camp Horizon has been in operation for about 25 years, with a history of overcoming a great number of challenges. The source of this perseverance is the group's sincere dedication to its mission: helping significantly disadvantaged kids in the foster care system build the life skills and confidence necessary to thrive in this world. I am proud to be part of Camp Horizon.
Review from Guidestar
The week I spent at Camp Horizon last summer was one of the greatest and most fulfilling experiences of my life. You wouldn't expect to form such a strong bond with a child in just one week, but spending almost every moment with one camper you are paired with makes you love them in a way that you can't imagine until you experience it. The consolers and staff at camp create a phenomenal family atmosphere for both the campers and for the other counselors, and it feels so much like home by the end of the week that it makes it hard to leave. You will never want to say goodbye to you camper and you will try and see them every chance you get through outings that Camp Horizon has throughout the year. I could not recommend this organization strongly enough. I can't think of a group more in need of love, support, and affection than these foster children from backgrounds of abuse and neglect, and I can't imagine an organization that could provide those things better than Camp Horizon.
Camp Horizon provides hope, love, and direction to children who, even under life's most-difficult circumstances, will undoubtedly prove to be productive members and leaders in their community. Camp Horizon is the impetus behind creating a unique platform to help children who have been abused or neglected to develop invaluable skills and feeling of self-worth. This program has changed my life as a counselor, but, more importantly, the lives of children in Georgia.
Camp Horizon is about family. It is about providing children who have been abused or neglected with reassurance that they are valuable and loved; comfort that their current situation is no fault of their own; and the skills, encouragement, and support to strive for their dreams. If anyone is slightly interested in serving some of the most vulnerable youth in the US (with estimates that as high as 80% of the US prison population having once been in foster care), you should definitely check the website or contact Camp Horizon about opportunities to get involved. Become part of the family our kids so desperately need and see first hand how life changing this experience is for both the children and the volunteers.
Camp Horizon, I am sure, is an absolutely invaluable experience in the lives of all who are involved. There is perhaps no other time in a child's life that he or she can receive the kind of 1-on-1 attention that is given to campers for an entire week at camp, and to receive that kind of attention in such a loving, encouraging, and nurturing environment is truly a blessing. The week spent at camp is like therapy.
One of the best things about camp is the different experience that campers get to have. Experiences like horseback riding, fishing, bike riding, arts and crafts, and a class on self-esteem, among others. These experiences, coupled with the mentorship and positivity of dedicated counselors and staff members, make for a fantastic week at Camp Horizon!
I have been part of the Camp Horizon family since 2001, as a summer camp counselor, a former board member, as well as I currently serve on their staff for summer camp. For over 13 years I have had the privilege to be a part of this amazing organization that literally heals and repairs the lives of children that have been abused and/or neglected from the metro Atlanta area. This organization gives each child unconditional love and positive encouragement, as well as teaches them how to get through the ups and downs of life. It is not just a week at summer camp that is provided, but a continual support system that lasts through their adolescence through weekend outings and other events. As teenagers our campers are taught many life skills to prepare them for adulthood, and most importantly they are taught the three "R`s", respect, responsibility, and resilience. I have witnessed children overcome major adversity that most adults cannot comprehend, much less overcome themselves, largely in part to this loving and supportive program that has changed lives for almost 30 years.
After all this time with the Camp Horizon family, I continue to be amazed at all they provide for these children and young adults with such minimum resources. I encourage anyone who reads this to consider supporting this great organization either financially or through volunteering your time.
Camp Horizon Volunteer
Camp horizon is a wonderful non-profit organization that assists children through the development of social skills and the volunteers work to increase self-determination through positive prosocial interactions. Students are taught lifelong soft skills and career related life skills to prepare them to become successful in life. Camp Horizon is a wonderful non-profit organization to get involved with if you truly care about giving back to support our youth. Also, getting involved in Camp Horizon allows you to see the growth and development of our youth as they transform and grow to become young adults with the many different programs that are involved with Camp Horizon. I have been involved with Camp Horizon for more than 13 years and I can assure you that the volunteers truly make a difference in the lives of many children.
After hearing about Camp Horizon , I knew that I wanted to become a camp counselor. Seeing the kids smiling faces and bright eyes during the week is truly heart warming. I was filled with many positive emotions during the week. I got to meet awesome kids with so much potential and loads of energy . I gave a young girl a great week and I'm truly thankful that I was able to. Camp Horizon is a family and is filled with so much love !!
I feel blessed to have gotten the chance to volunteer at Camp Horizon this past summer. From counselor training all the way to the last day, I was surrounded by constant love and encouragement from the staff, other counselors, and campers. It was a truly wonderful week in which I could help a great girl have the time of her life and forget about her stresses and worries from home. I am so glad I am now a part of the Camp Horizon family, and I cannot wait for the many more years of camp to come!
Camp Horizon is a blessing for these children. It gives them the opportunity to participate in new activities and discover new talents. They develop lifelong friends and learn social skills that are applicable to their everday lives. My own camper was given the opportunity to ride a bike, learn to fish, and realize her own intuitive tennis talent! By the end of the week, after much practice, she was able to swim across the camp pool and obtain a coveted green band, allowing her to swim in the deep end. She conquered fears, built skill, and learned to be compassionate in only 6 days. This is a non-profit with an excellent mission that does and will continue to change lives.
When I first heard of Camp Horizon, I did not know what to expect. When I arrived at Camp Horizon, three years ago, any expectations I had were left in the dust because I was having so much fun. Camp Horizon is a wonderful place filled with self discovery for you (counselor) and the camper you get to hang out with for a week. Being paired with one camper for a whole week is a blessing. You get to see the delights of a child up close. Some of these children get to ride bikes, swim, and ride horses for the first time and you get to be cheering them on. These children have had experiences hardships that I can't even imagine. They get to be children at Camp Horizon. They get to sing, laugh, and have fun. They get to give and recieve love. We as counselors get to remember what being a child felt like, with stickers, glitter, and singing really loud. Camp Horizon is big family!! :)
The amount of support and respect this camp gives to both counselors and campers alike is what makes it stands out from the crowd. And these kids know it. They come out of their shells. They have fun knowing that the adults around them aren't just authority figures giving orders, they're people who want to know about them, who care about what they care about. Who what to listen and console and lift up. These kids can look up at their counselor and see proof that there are people in the world that truly care about them. That's what Camp Horizon is all about.
This yearly camp program offers foster youth the chance to have a one to one interaction with a counselor (could be you) and it allows the youth in foster care to have time away from their normal life circumstances. The types of circumstances these children and young adults go through while they are in care are awful on average but in many cases horrific.
I have been a counselor twice and both were by far some of the most he rewarding experiences of my life. It is almost impossible to put into words the affect you can have in a foster child's life simply by "being there" for a week. During my experience as a counselor, I realized another very important factor... these foster children will change your life just as much as you change theirs.
Camp Horizon is a home away home. I am not sure how many times I can repeat this saying for people to fully understand that it is like walking through the doors at your own home. From the time you walk on camp grounds or at any place your camp family is you can automatically feel this warmth of love take over. I have been apart of this loving family for over 10yrs and it has brought great joy. I love my family with all my heart.
A couple years ago, I was walking down the path at camp talking with two other counselors. These guys had been fraternity brothers of mine, and between all of us we definitely have some stories that we will wait to tell our kids. But we were having a conversation that I never would have imagined when we were in college... we were talking about how every year, Camp Horizon changes our lives for the better and unfailingly brings out the best version of ourselves - and it seems like that applies to all the other counselors/staff members too. Everyone cares about everyone else so much, and with zero percent hyperbole or exaggeration, the three of us reached the conclusion that this atmosphere of love and kindness is probably what Heaven is like... and this one week of summer camp is about as close as you can get to it here on Earth.
Sappy and dramatic? Yes. All true? Yes!!
The word "family" has been a common theme across the reviews here, and it is with good reason - if you think of the best qualities a family has to offer, that's exactly what Camp Horizon provides for abused/neglected children: 100% unconditional love, selflessness, generosity, kindness, and constant encouragement.
I've been involved with Camp Horizon since 2006, and as a counselor and board member I have seen over and over again that this is truly a special place where magic happens every day. It is one of my favorite things in the world and I'm very, very lucky to be part of it.
Camp Horizon is FAMILY!!!
My primary role is a volunteer; I serve as a board member and professional.
I have known about Camp Horizon for 13 years and lived vicariously through my baby sister who was a camper for 10 years. She started going to summer camp when she was 8; she was an energetic child that I am sure was a hand full. Every summer when she returned from camp, she was always sad; she would sleep with her camp souvenirs for weeks until she adjusted at home. As she got older, she became adjusted to the camp routine and matured into a beautiful, unselfish young lady. When she graduated from high school, I met her Camp FAMILY and instantly I knew why she loved them.
That summer I volunteered as a counselor and I have been a counselor for 3 years. As a counselor, you get to personally make a difference in these children lives, many who do not receive hugs at home and at camp are over showered with a hug. These children are given the opportunity to be kids, with no worries of if they will move to another home, have to go to court, or be abused or neglected. The kids that come to Camp Horizon are special because they are made to feel special because they are; they genuinely make connections with other campers, counselors, and staff. They are given a choice, empowering them for future decisions they will have to make.
If you do not remember anything else Camp Horizon is Family and family is forever.
Over the past 15 years I've personally witnessed Camp Horizon be a redemptive force for a forgotten demographic. We hear so much about how children in the state system don't perform as well in school and don't go on to be productive, viable, educated members of society. These children lack a common understanding of the possibilities life offers, due to minimal exposure to success and weak familial influence. You hear people speak so knowingly about the issues that plague OUR CHILDREN - our future - and they tend to speak about them in finite, concrete terms. A sad, detrimental issue that unfortunately simply IS, and cannot be fixed. You can't go around restructuring the way people think, right? Its too hard, and the system is too bureaucratic to be effective.
The only thing is, I AM one of those children, all grown up - a DFCS, Camp Horizon, High School, College graduate. I began to understand what it meant to challenge myself, to feel secure enough to shoot for the things I wanted for myself in life, because of the lessons I learned from those very special volunteers that helped me on my journey. My appreciation now as a volunteer with Camp Horizon is deeply founded in a need to give back to a group that was so important to the way I developed as a man. As I grow in my life and career, I seek to take the lessons I learned from Camp - chiefly those concerning family, humility and love - with me each step of the way.
Volunteer; 2007 - until the work is done.
I have attended many Camp Horizon events as a volunteer. There are no words to express the joy on the faces of these children. The interaction between the child and counselor confirms the committment of the counselors to the child, and the appreciation of each child is written all over their smiling faces.
Camp Horizon is by far the GREATEST week of the year. The magical memories of camp remain with me throughout the year. I started volunteering as a summer camp counselor for Camp Horizon in 2008 and feel every child, counselor, and staff member I have met along the way have truly impacted my life for the better. I've had the honor of working with the same camper for the last three summers, and there isn't a day that goes by that I do think about our time together at camp. Camp Horizon gave her the opportunity to learn how to ride a bike when she was eight, swim across the pool (to earn that coveted green bracelet) when she was nine, and solve conflicts peacefully with peers when she was ten. I'm looking forward to seeing what lessons this summer will bring!
I credit Camp Horizon in guiding me toward my career path as a school social worker. And, even though I now live in Illinois, I make an concerted effort to return to Georgia every summer to see my camp family.
Camp Horizon is just great in all that it does. The camp is a week long, and in each of those seven days the 8-11 year old campers gain confidence, try new activities, learn new skills, and make new friends that they will remember for their lifetime. They often come with nothing and leave with so much. All the best to everyone involved with such a wonderful organization!
I was a board member of this organization for 3 years, a volunteer for 9 and fundraiser for 7.
I started my Camp Horizon experience as a summer camp counselor in 1999 - I was 38 years old! This wasn't your ordinary summer camp counselor experience - it was life changing....for me, the other volunteers and most importantly, the children served by this amazing organization. Summer camp counselors are partnered with ONE camper for an entire week - to share in the fun activities all children enjoy at camp - but one of the most important things that takes place during the weeklong camp is giving unconditional love to children who may have never experienced it. The camper/counselor relationships grow over the week and continues on for many years later; as Camp Horizon provides programs for foster youth up through age 21.
After a week with my 10 year old camper Mikita, I decided to become involved with the organization by volunteering my time doing marketing communications and then as the part time development director. I was always impressed by the passion and commitment of the camp staff, executive director, board members and volunteers.
Even though I moved to California 3+ years ago, I regularly keep in touch (via facebook) with the former campers who are in their 20's - those that I met in my early years at camp. I am so proud of the young adults they have become - for the decisions they've made in their lives, for being so resilient, for being supportive of each other.... all these many years later.
Camp Horizon has been and will continue to be a blessing to thousands of children, teens and young adults who are become part of the Camp Horizon family.
I first learned about Camp Horizon from my cousin. She is a volunteer each summer (and during the year for fundraisers etc). Her passion for the camp and her partnered camper are inspiring. I know the camp touches the lives of children each year and through their lives. I am proud to support her work there.
I have been a part of the Camp Horizon family for 14 years. When I first started with camp I knew I wanted to work with kids but was very nervous that I would not know how to interact or have anything in common with these kids. After the first couple days I realized there is not much difference between these kids and other children except the unfortunate background they grew up in & the consequences they now have to endure due to their parents decisions.
I think I have had a bit of a different experience than most of the volunteers at camp. From the start I was a staff volunteer, the one assigned & one of the very few allowed to take photos of the children. Due to the background of the children & the fact they were in State custody most of our children are not allowed to have their photos taken. This includes school photos, year book photos, & even just photos of them having fun at camp. When I first started with camp the only pictures I was allowed to take to publish & promote Camp Horizon were images that did not show any of the children's faces. Any image that I took of a child with their beautiful face showing could only go to that child directly no counselor, staff or any other adult was aloud to have them. Being a professional photographer I know when most people look at a photograph they want to be able to connect with the person in the image by seeing their eyes, their smile, & their emotion. When all you can see is the back of someones head it is that much harder to make a connection. For many year I was one of the lucky few able to see the beauty, love & joy in the eyes & expressions of these amazing children everyday they were at camp. It is a blessing every volunteer of Camp Horizon wants to share but can really only due by stories.
Through out the 14 years I have been with camp many of the children that I got to know when they were 8,9 & 10 are now in there 20's. A few of our kids have been adopted in that time as well & today the images you see on the Camp Horizon web site are of children who have been adopted & are allowed to have there image shown or they have aged out of the state system at 18 & gave us permission to use their images to promote a camp that has meant so much to them over the years. But there are still so many that remain in the shadows.
When I first started photographing the kids of Camp Horizon it never dawned on me how important these images actually were. As I said I have gotten to see a lot of our kids grow from an innocent child to graduating from high school, going on to collage, military service, marriage & even starting families of their own. By the grace of God I have been blessed to be a part of & photograph some of those milestone moments in these, now, young adult's lives. But it wasn't until I had one of the girls who grew up in the Camp Horizon family tell me what those early photos taken at camp meant to her that I really understood how something that seemed so small could be so important.
Most of us have photos taken of us from the time we are born, throughout our childhood, & at every important event in our lives. Usually so many photos are taken of us we take it for granted. That former camper told me as I photographed her maternity photos before the birth of her beautiful daughter, that the photos taken of her at camp were the only photos she had of herself growing up as a child. These would be the only photos she had to share with her daughter as she grew up. I have never felt more blessed than at that very moment, that God gave me this talent of capturing beautiful moments in the lives of others. The blessing of being a part of Camp Horizon & the lives of these special children and the chance to capture their laughter, friendships, first experiences, accomplishments & important milestones in their childhood I no longer take lightly. Camp Horizon is a place that brings the joys of childhood back to every child & adult that is a part of it.
Karen Burns - Karen Burns Photography
I have heard many wonderful, Successful stories regarding Camp Horizon. With volunteering under my belt, this is an organization That I would like to become a part of. Hearing the success stories bring tears to my eyes and are Very moving.
WE have heard many stories from those directly involved with Camp Horizon. Many positive memories and moments with the kids as well as staff during camp week or other camp activities throughout the year. Many of the kids find a 'family' within this organization... Somone to lean on and share conversastions, Just an all over positive , wonderful camp.
Camp Horizon is more than just a week long camp. Many of the campers have constantly been tested. They're kids that have been through too much. Camp Horizon gives people the chance to forget about some of the burdens that come with everyday life. We have the chance to make difference in a child's life. We also get to sing and dance like children. And have the chance to appreciate things like three meals a day, which some of campers do not get to have. Most importantly, the kids are loved for a week where they can just be a kid. Camp Horizon provides these kids the opportunity to live in the sunshine.
Camp Horizon is the most passionate and rewarding organization I've ever been a part of. The one to one camper counselor relationship is what makes the camp experience so unique. I love learning from ups and downs of my camper, and the bond we make throughout our week together. I love seeing the smile of my new little buddy when he faces a challenge and has that ah-ha moment once he blows his own prior execrations out of the water. These kids can't control the circumstances of their home environment, and it is an honor to spend a week building their self-efficacy and empowering the strength for them to know just how special they are and all the things they can accomplish. I am so proud to be part of the Camp Horizon family.
Camp Horizon has been a part of my life for 15 years! I volunteered as a camp counselor for 6 years and have done numerous outings and fundraising as well. I have known many campers through this time and I can tell you that the Camp Horizon family really is just that, a family! When the kids get together you can tell they have this amazing bond, with their counselors, the staff and each other. I am proud to be a part of this organization and know for a fact the positive influence it has on children who do not have those positive role members or even a family home to live in. The programs Camp Horizon provides are sometimes the only continuity these children have. They absolutely LOVE Camp Horizon and grow to be positive adults and expect more of themselves because of this additional family support!!
I have heard stories, from those directly involved with Camp Horizon, about countless tender, poignant moments during camp week or other camp activities throughout the year, when a child's heart has been opened, a loving hand is extended to another camper, or hope is instilled in a dejected soul. Thanks for all that you do to elevate humanity!