Camp Horizon is pure love. Coming from an essential place of contribution, connection, service, and unconditional love and acceptance, this organization has changed the course of so many lives. These children and many grown adults by now experience all that and joy and affirmation and structure and purpose and belonging that means so much to the human life. This place and family in its seemingly endless capacity has held so much over its decades, and the kids who get involved with it have a place to stay in a wildly changing world. In 12+ years of involvement as a volunteer, I’m moved and inspired all the time by it, humbled to be any part of such a marvelous, wholehearted group and organization—watching the kids grow, seeing their passion and happiness and security peek out and start to bloom. What a great benefit this is to the world. Truly awesome!
Put simply, Camp Horizon changes lives. It seems to be the nature of Camp Horizon--all who get close to it are profoundly impacted in a positive way; campers, volunteers, staff, donors, sponsors, allies, etc. I have been a part of the Camp family for five years now, and it was after the very first event that I knew (and said outloud to my dear friend, Tara) that I would be in for life. It's just one of those kinds of organizations. And it's this lasting impact that plays such a remarkable role in the lives of the children and families it serves. People who involve themselve with Camp Horizon get sucked into the swirling vortex of love and compassion and are indelibly moved by it. And, if you'd like, that can be a challenge to you, reader, to see what your experience of supporting Camp Horizon would be like. I am blessed and privileged to know such a pure place in a world that can sometimes be so muddled, and it's an honor to spread it's good name. Thank you Camp!
Camp Horizon's foundational program is a weeklong residential Summer Camp for children in Foster Care ages 8 - 11. With 1-1 counselor pairings, this week is transformational for both the kids AND the adult volunteers.
Camp Horizon is more than a summer camp, it is a place where children who have experienced trauma can feel safe and loved. It gives children the opportunity to regain their self-esteem and form strong, healthy, and lasting relationships with adults. Having been a volunteer for almost ten years, I can honestly say that the impact Camp Horizon makes on its campers is truly incredible and life changing. I have seen children come to summer camp scared and unsure of themselves and blossom into the outgoing and brave child they are on the inside, in less than a week! Not only does this amazing transformation happen at summer camp, our campers continue to evolve in our teen Leadership Development program. In this program, they learn life and leadership skills that will stick with them for the rest of their lives and assist them in becoming healthy, productive adults. Camp Horizon is a family to all of its campers and volunteers. I am so proud to be a part of this organization.
Camp has been a life-changing experience for me. I've made so many incredible friendships with the other counselors and I have a forever bond with my camper.
I'm already looking forward to next year's camp because it's so refreshing to be more focused on someone other than myself. These kids make me a better person. They fill my heart and make me smile and I am forever grateful for the opportunity to spend time with them.
Camp Horizon does an amazing job of providing programs and support to Atlanta youth who have been victims of abuse or neglect.
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.
My first summer at camp was everything I imagined and more. I went into the start of the week with an eager heart and excitement for the children I would meet. My first camper, Lacey, was a 10 year old girl with a big heart and an even bigger singing voice. Our relationship was tough at first because I had to gain her trust, but once she let me in, we flourished together for two summers and I got the chance to watch her grow into a confident young girl. Camp Horizon is the place to go to make an impact for kids who deserve the world and are given the chance to have a fun week where they explore themselves more!
I LOVE Camp! An opportunity to love and support Atlanta's foster youth through meaningful programming!! Once you begin spending time with this amazing children you are always a part of the Camp Family!
I have been involved with Camp Horizon as a volunteer in a variety of capacities since 2008. It has been awesome seeing how the organization has grown and evolved during that time.
As someone lucky to have two loving parents that facilitated a wonderful childhood for me and my brother, being able to help expose our campers who are not as fortunate to know what that feels like is an incredibly humbling and rewarding opportunity.
I have been given the honor to be a counselor to four different young men over the years who I learned so much from. Our bonds were formed by me getting to know their interests and desires while gently guiding their growth in things they were not as comfortable and/or familiar. Being locked in to one specific camper is perhaps one of Camp Horizon’s greatest identifiable traits to truly ensure every child feels that undivided attention.
In recent years I have transitioned to a staff role as the art instructor and it has been equally rewarding to get to interact with the wider scope of all the campers engaging their creative spirits.
Serving vulnerable youth in the foster care system requires sensitivities that can be challenging to convey without getting to experience our efforts and programming firsthand. However, I hope this and other posted anecdotes resonate to the authentic intention, love, and value we try to empower in our kids during their time as campers and beyond.
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 is an incredible organization. I began as a volunteer and I'm now honored to have the role of program director. After six years of being involved with this organization, I can honestly say it has changed my life, and I'm not even a camper! The magic of Camp Horizon can only truly be understood once you've spent a week with a group of 8-11 year old campers who learn to deal with complex emotions, make safe choices, (re)build trust, and most importantly, to know without a doubt that they are important and they are loved.
And that's just the beginning! Summer camp may end after a week, but the Camp Horizon family is always there for campers. From quarterly outings to weekend retreats, our programming continues all year long. Until the day that child abuse and neglect no longer exist, Camp Horizon will always work to restore dignity and hope to Atlanta's foster youth.
When I retired in the spring of 2017, I knew that I wanted to connect with a non-profit where I could contribute some of my time to a meaningful cause. My son and daughter were volunteering at Camp Horizon and I had heard amazing things from them about the program and it’s impact on Atlanta foster kids. It made sense to make this a family affair!
I was able to attend and/or bake for several functions that year before I got really brave and applied to volunteer at camp for a week (yes, sleep away)! As a senior citizen, I was gratefully assigned to be on staff and asked to focus on spreading love and sharing hugs with the campers! Who wouldn’t love that job? It was such a fabulous week! In addition to lots of hugs, I was able to offer support in many ways ... laundry, afternoon snacks, bingo and other behind the scenes activities.
My favorite part of camp, however, was sleeping in the cabin. Getting to spend time with the campers and watching the relationships develop with their counselors was amazing. The fact that Camp Horizon offers a one-on-one camper/counselor camping experience basically means that the counselors are with their campers 24/7. That is a lot of togetherness and the bonds that are created can last for many years!
It is not uncommon for a camper to join us when they are eight years old and still be participating ten years later! The consistency that Camp Horizon offers to these kids with year round programming is something that is often missing in their lives ... Camp Horizon is truly a second family for our kids!
I have been blessed to observe the positive impact on these young lives and hope to contribute in my own small way for years to come. Thank you Camp Horizon for giving me this opportunity!
I have been a volunteer for Camp Horizon for 6 years. They welcomed me with open arms when I first started. Being a volunteer for this non-profit is the most life-changing, rewarding experience I have ever had. Being able to have such a positive influence on a child in need is wonderful. Seeing these children smile, laugh, and feel so free is heartwarming. I could not see myself living a life without Camp Horizon. They are truly my second family. Camp Hugs to all!
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, 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 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!
Camp Horizon changes lives. Period. Summer 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. Counselors are 110% dedicated to making their camper's experience the best it can be, and through those efforts, each counselor/camper pair develops an inexplicable, special bond. Camp Horizon is more than an organization, it's a family, and it's the authentic love, passion, and commitment of the staff and volunteers that has kept me involved in the organization for years. Words do not do this organization justice - volunteer for yourself and you'll see first-hand the important, positive impact Camp Horizon makes.
I've been involved in Camp Horizon since I was a little girl, now I'm 21 years old. Camp Horizon is the BEST thing that has ever happened to me in my life. Camp has made me the woman I am today. I've always felt alone, has had low self esteem, and felt like I'd never be notice by anyone, and always been shy. Camp Horizon has changed everything for me. I no longer feel alone with such great people in my life, I don't have low self esteem anymore. You know, Camp Horizon enlightens things for you that you'd never think were possible. When you're involved with such a great Organization, your life gets better. You're surrounded by people who actually cares, makes you want to strive harder for things, is there for you when you're facing a tough challenge. and helps you get through it. As I write this, it's so hard for me not to tear up. These people are my family, has helped me become more comfortable in my skin, made me realize my worth, is the reason I love to smile. The only thing that really brings a smile to my face is Camp Horizon, it's a place where you leave all of your problems at home, heck, even forget what they are, show's you what FUN/LOVE is , EVERYONE shines at Camp, you'll never be forgotten, or feel left out. Camp will give you the best unforgettable memories, and at the end of the day, you'll realize you have another FAMILY!
As we enter our 31st year of serving children in Foster care, I am blessed to have participated for 25 years as a Counselor, Instructor, Staff Member and Board President. My memories and heart are FULL of life-changing experiences for me and scores of children. I have stayed in close contact with two of my former Campers, seeing them both graduate high school and college (GSU and Emory), becoming solid citizens and impressive young men. Without a father-figure for these young men, I'm proud to be "Dad". For dozens more, through Camp Horizon, I know I have helped shape their lives and am a better person for their imprint on mine.
I have been involved with Camp Horizon for 3 years. I am truly amazed at how wonderful this organization is with their dedication to the children. I first heard of this group from a teacher friend. It was something I wanted to get involved in. What I saw my first visit was a tight knit group. It was not a fly by night operation. It was a group of caring adults putting everything they had into giving back to the children who attend. But I was more amazed to see the leadership of the "older" children. These individuals also put all they have into events to make sure the "younger" feel loved, accepted, and cherished. Camp Horizon has events all throughout the year. They don't just touch base with the kids at summer camp. They continue to touch their lives on a regular basis. I am forever changed by these kids. I am forever changed by the volunteers. If I had to give one word that describes this organization it would be FAMILY!
“I went to camp and had the best time. It really does a lot for someone who feels alone and like they have no one. It also gave me something to look forward to, which in foster care is a rare thing.” This powerful statement from a former camper sums up the impact Camp Horizon has on the children who attend.
Camp Horizon is so much more than a weeklong camp. Once children attend the summer camp, we strive to keep them involved in our year-round programs. The campers become a member of the Camp Horizon family. The feelings and magic of camp resurface during the reunions and help lead to long-term growth.
Camp Horizon’s programs provide a fun-filled break from the life the children encounter at home. The experiences expose them to a wonderful world outside their daily lives; a world filled with love, guidance, and support. Through constant positive attention and unconditional acceptance, the children begin to see themselves in a whole new light.
Since 1994, I’ve seen countless lives changed through Camp Horizon. The transformation that takes place is an amazing sight to behold and is difficult, if not impossible, to put into words. For that reason, I encourage people to get involved to experience it first-hand.
I learned about Camp Horizon about a year ago when I was exploring volunteer opportunities. My goal was to find a local, volunteer opportunity that aligned with my interest in working with children whose lives had been impacted by abuse or neglect. I initially spoke with one of the Camp Horizon Board members to learn about the organization and was struck by the passion and commitment I heard as they described Camp Horizon to me. I connected strongly with the Camp's Mission due to experiences I had as an intern therapist. In that role I witnessed the negative effects of abuse and neglect on children, but I also witnessed children's positive response and ability to thrive when provided with acceptance, compassion, support, and positive role models. Since joining the Board of Camp Horizon, I had the opportunity to participate in the Leadership Development Weekend for alumni campers, ages 12 - 18. The maturity, compassion, and positive attitudes of the campers I met that weekend are strong testimony to the value of Camp Horizon's programs. I commend the Camp Horizon Board, Staff, and Volunteers for programs that are focused, well organized, well executed, and most importantly, so very important to the lives of the children they connect with.
I have been involved with Camp Horizon for two years now as a volunteer, and one year as a member of the board of directors. In volunteering with Camp Horizon, I have realized just how much of an impact we can make on the lives of others by showing love, support, and accountability. The children and young adults we serve at camp are truly remarkable people, and they have the tremendous potential to break the cycle of abuse and neglect with the right opportunities and support. Camp Horizon offers that and so much more.
Camp Horizon is the family so many of these young children are missing. It is the support system that shows them how to love, how to grow, and how to become a person that can make their own impact in the world. The one-to-one camper-to-counselor ratio shows the children what it is like to have an adult in their lives that cares deeply and loves truly. They are able to realize that they are worthy of love, success, personal growth, and friendship in one short week.
In my work outside of camp, I also consult for nonprofits, and I can say without a doubt that Camp Horizon's focus on the end-customer, the children, is unwavering and truly incredible. This is an organization to support if you truly want to change the lives of children that have been dealt a hand of cards that would be difficult to handle for the best of us.
In my 7 year involvement with Camp Horizon, I have met individuals that have shown endless amounts of courage, witnessed love without fear, made friends to last a lifetime, and seen generosity that knows no bounds... and that's just through the campers! My experience has truly been life changing; I constantly tell friends and family that my week as a Camp Horizon volunteer is the "best version of me" that exists. Whether teaching a child to ride a bike, catch a fish for the first time, or simply overcome everyday fears of trust or abandonment, this organization provides a safe and caring environment for children and teens that have previously suffered through abuse and neglect. As rewarding and valuable as it is for the campers that participate in Camp Horizon's summer camp and other events throughout the year, I firmly believe that volunteers benefit just as much by experiencing the bonds that form through true selflessness. Caring and loyal volunteers, led by the consistency and organization of tremendous leaders, and aided by the generous donations of loving individuals and organizations create an atmosphere that has helped hundreds of at-risk children and teens that have previously suffered through abuse and neglect.
Whether you donate $7 dollars out of your pocket or 7 days during your summer to this organization, a child's life will be forever changed. I do not hesitate in saying that your life will, as well.
I've been involved with Camp Horizon for over 6 years now and it has become something that runs deep within my soul. Every year I am lucky enough to see first hand how one week can mean so much to a child in need. The relationships formed between a counselor and a camper become relationships that last a lifetime. Camp Horizon would be a wonderful organization if they only held a one week camp every year but what sets this organization apart from many others is the loving people that plan and develop activities throughout the year. Not only that, but they continue to care about these kids after they outgrow Camp Horizon through the organization of camps and programs that follow these kids through their young adult lives. I am proud to call myself a volunteer for Camp Horizon and an organization that strives to make a difference to so many kids that deserve the love that they so long for.
When you open your heart and allow unconditional love to flow, miracles happen. Camp Horizon is the embodiment of this thought. I have been a volunteer with Camp Horizon for many years and I have seen so many children - defensive, closed, unsure - blossom in a week, in a year, in ten years of being involved with Camp Horizon into smiling, glowing, bursting full of energy young adults that are full of life and positive reinforcement. We consider ourselves a family at Camp Horizon and we are committed to children – not just through summer camp and leadership development programs – because life does not stop there. The systems have failed them, their families have failed them, but Camp Horizon continues to support these young adults through the challenges they face. Many of these young adults come back to Camp Horizon to support the new children who backgrounds mirror theirs and to give back to their family. Camp Horizon is a miracle. I have been honored to be part of Camp Horizon to learn how to be a better person and better parent myself. I recommend this organization for its integrity, for its commitment to mission, and for its tremendous impact on the lives of these vulnerable children.
My life changed forever when I walked into the Camp Horizon family. The positive encouragement, the intentional relationships, and the consistency are just snippets of how this organization affects your life, both as a volunteer and as a camper. As a teacher of students in the foster care system, I see them go in and out of schools, of houses, of families, and I see their needs: for consistency & safety, for adults to show them there is a way, for time to feel confident, for them to know they have a light to shine. Camp Horizon offers them all of this. It is what I want to do as a teacher, but can't. Thankfully, there is a place that gives them this. I hope more volunteers will want to be a part of something bigger than themselves, something that gives this kind of goodness to kids who have not gotten to experience it.
I can’t say enough good things about what Camp Horizon does and means to the population of children they provide services to. I have been a volunteer for the past few years and as an organization we always say “the magic of Camp Horizon” and I could not describe it any better.
I have been able to witness children come out of their shells and experience unconditional love, sometimes for the first time. Image never having the experiences of childhood like riding a bike or learning to swim, these are experiences campers would not have if it was not for summer camp.
In the past few years I have been able to see the growth of campers from the start of camp through the other programs Camp Horizon offers and it never seizes to amaze me. The structure and support they are given through the programs is truly life changing.
Financially, I have never seen a nonprofit stretch a dollar like the Camp Horizon staff does. They make a little go a long way. Many of the campers come to summer camp with very little and no matter what the camper needs, they make it happen.
I have been a supporter of Camp Horizon since I heard about it several years ago. The mission of this amazing program is realized each year at camp as well as throughout the year with ongoing programs. I have seen the passion and love that the volunteers have and it is contagious. Camp Horizon gives so many children the chance to build their confidence, self esteem and gives them the gift of a camp experience with their peers. Then these children have a chance all year long to reconnect with ongoing programs that add and reinforce the lasting positivity of summer camp. I am very particular about where I donate my money so that it can truly make a difference. I cannot think of a non-profit that is as impactful as Camp Horizon is for these children. I am a very proud supporter and am glad to be able to share my experience.
I have been a volunteer with Camp Horizon for many years and just can't get enough. Once you've been bitten by the Camp Horizon bug you're part of an amazingly loving family and always want more.
Being a camp counselor is one of the most amazing experiences I have ever had. Having one camper that you dedicate your full attention, love and time to for a whole week is fun, exhausting, exciting and so special. The camp family is tight and special and it extends beyond the summer into the year-round events that reunite campers with their counselors and their camp family.
Camp Horizon is so special. I get overwhelmed with emotions just thinking back about how special Camp Horizon really is. Camp Horizon is magical.
There are no adequate words to fully express the experience of Camp Horizon which is best described as a transformation. Young lives are given unconditional love and support to shape and mold them to believe in themselves-to trust that they are a person of worth.The course of life becomes not "I cannot"but rather "I can!" We all have lessons to learn and the children of Camp Horizon inspire me to believe.
I started going to Camp Horizon when I was 8 years old. I am now 22. If I could describe Camp Horizon in one word, the word blessing comes to mind. Camp Horizon has given me the strength and the support system to follow my dreams and get my life together. This organization is my family. They have helped me grow and learn and change. They have given me the extra push I needed to make it. They know LOVE and best of all they know how to share it. I can honestly say that when I had no one to turn to I could always count on this amazing organization to be my backbone. I have gotten the opportunity to grow up with an amazing group of youth that share the same struggles that I have endured but just to know that I am not alone was enough to keep me pushing forward. Camp Horizon was my escape, my vacation from the situation I was in back at home. I could be that carefree little girl that I was supposed to be but couldn't be at home. I could cry and love and feel and it was ok because this organization would cry and love and feel with me. It breaks my heart because I wish that everyone could have the experience that ive had. Even as anadult I still can call on my Camp Family and they are there and that's a blessing within itself.
I have been involved with Camp Horizon as a volunteer and now as a board member for the past 3 years. While I have worked with numerous non-profit organizations over the years, Camp Horizon is without a doubt the best organization that I've had the privelege of being associated with. Camp Horizon's unique one-to-one counselor-camper relationship for their annual summer camp, their keystone event, has an amazingly positive impact on the lives of these children. Nobody deserves to be put through what these children have had to endure, whether it be physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or neglect. Camp Horizon instills a sense of self-confidence in these children that most of them have never felt before. They are shown tremendous amounts of love and caring, and are made to feel just as important and worthy of a fair chance as the rest of us. Camp Horizon is more than just a non-profit charity organization. It is a family. Children enter the Camp Horizon family at the age of 8 and are supported by the Camp Horizon family, in an official capacity, until the time they reach age 23. This includes the summer camp program for 8-11 year olds, a leadership develop program for 12-18 year olds, and a CHAMPS program for 19-23 year olds, which helps to prepare these wonderful children for whatever challenges life may throw at them. They receive direction around resume creation, job applications, college applications, etc. These programs are all in addition to numerous other annual outings which help to keep the children engaged with the organization throughout the year, and which helps to reinstill their sense of self-worth. The difference that this organization makes in the lives of these children is tangible. Nationally, 46% of foster youth who age out of the system have not completed high school. Only 20% of foster youth enroll in college, and only 3% of foster care alumni complete a 4-year degree. Conversely, 82% of Camp Horizon youth graduate from high school and 64% enroll in college. I am proud to be an active member of this 30 year old organization, and will continue to be involved in a major capacity for years to come. However, to enable us to continue to make such a positive, tangible impact, it is critical that we receive the financial support from our community needed to administer such programs. It is my hope that as we continue to spread the word about this wonderful organization, the financial support will continue to grow as well.
Imagine giving one person your undivided attention for an entire week. No work, school, computers, phones, dishes, laundry - no distractions whatsoever. Now imagine what a week like that could mean for a child in foster care and the healing that could take place. Camp Horizon's volunteer counselors give this incredible gift to our campers. I have been involved with Camp Horizon since 1994 and I feel honored to part of this group of people who give to a cause higher than themselves. Our loyal volunteers help create a non-traditional family for amazing children who have lost their roots.
Review from Guidestar
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.
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.