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!