Security Health Plan invests $1,000 in Royal Family KIDS Camp

“Summer camps are often geared toward the privileged families who can afford the extra cost for their children – but not this one. The Royal Family KIDS’ one-week resident summer camp is aimed at kids in the foster care system,” said Lindy Nelson, former Marshfield Medical Center chaplain.

 

One of the last things Nelson did before he retired after 29 years of service with Marshfield Clinic Health System was to nominate the Royal Family KIDS’ Camp for Security Health Plan’s monthly Employee-Driven Corporate Giving campaign. This month, Security will invest $1,000 in the national, all-volunteer not-for-profit that serves children ages 6-11 who are, or have been, part of the foster care system.

 

County social workers refer children who experienced abuse, neglect or abandonment. The camps prepare its volunteer workers with extensive training tailored to the children’s needs. The camp focuses on giving kids, “One completely safe week to just be a kid and have fun,” as Nelson described it. Campers take part in activities like fishing, swimming, canoeing, crafting, playing games, singing, hiking and playing sports.

 

Campers are paired with at least two adults and three other campers during their week, offering them a high staff-to-camper ratio that reinforces the training all campers receive on safe and respectful interactions, and giving them an opportunity to both make friends and develop positive, trusting relationships with adults.

 

“I was a ‘Grandpa’ this year at camp,” said Nelson, “which means I was extra support for the other volunteers, but was mainly there just to be with the kids and provide positive, non-threatening adult companionship.” For children in the Foster Care System, this generational role is often a missing or infrequent experience.

 

The camp is free – all funds are donated or raised for the camp and staff members are volunteers. This year, the area camp’s sixth year, funding supported over 40 campers. Many of the 50 staff members not only volunteer, but use their vacation time to do it, Nelson said.

 

“It’s obvious the goals of the camp are being met,” Nelson said. “There are no profit motives, the camp is well-organized and the staff well-trained.”

 

The campers agree. Upon learning the age limit for the camp is 11, one 11-year-old camper experiencing Royal Family KIDS’ Camp for the first time began to look sad. When Nelson asked him what was wrong, “I just wish I was 10,” was all the boy could say.

 

The Royal Family KIDS Camp does offer an extension of the relationships and good times had at camp through their monthly Club and Mentor program, held on Saturday mornings. Club members take part in many of the same activities they remember from camp, and have the opportunity to build close, positive relationships with their mentors and fellow members.

 

“As long as they leave knowing they’re loved, important and cared for, we’ve done our job,” Nelson said.

 

Join Security Health Plan’s efforts: Donate at to fund Royal Family KIDS’ Camp scholarships, activities, program aids, camp rental fees and more.

 

Every month, Security Health Plan invests $1,000 as part of its Employee-Driven Corporate Giving campaign. Marshfield Clinic Health System employees are encouraged to nominate an organization that it is making a positive difference in the community.