Every youngster deserves a normal childhood-a chance to dig in the dirt, to sing off key, to explore the world, and to discover new things along the way. The lives of certain children, by virtue of illness or disorder, are anything but normal. Sadly, these youngsters are suffering physically and emotionally not only from coping with the treatments necessary to sustain life, but also from coping with the loss of their childhood. Dragonfly Forest provides a summer camp experience for these kids.
What is the issue, problem, or challenge?
Our program is designed to provide a unique educational environment. What looks like a camp program is actually intentionally designed lessons to help our kids learn about themselves and their illnesses. The program is free because many parents' paychecks are reduced because of required time off from work due to excessive sick days, clinic visits & hospitalizations. A significant change in the financial health is often the side-effect of families caring for children with disease and disorders.
How will this project solve this problem?
Dragonfly Forest is a positive force in youth development. At camp, children become more confident & experience increased self-esteem, develop social skills that help them to make new friends & maintain relationships, grow more independent and show more leadership qualities, become more adventurous and willing to try new things, become more effective when working in groups, and learn new ways to live with their disease/disorder and maintain a healthy life style.
Potential Long Term Impact
Each year we work with 400 - 450 campers, allowing them to learn they are not defined by their disease or disorder. 85.6% of parents tell us they see a change in their child after camp. The Top 5 key lessons parents say their children learn at camp, maintained nine months later - Increased Confidence (92.31%), Increased Independence (88.46%), Solve Problem they Face (73.08%), Ability to Get Along with Peers (69.23%), Teamwork (65.38%), and Willingness to Take More Responsibility (69.23%).