Camp Laurel

Founded in 1993, Camp Laurel is committed to providing educational and support programs for children living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. They serve approximately 450 children per year, ages 3-17, through their camping programs, which are free to all participants. Their grant for $5,439.80 will fund the purchase of 4 medical carts, 5 medical bags, 4 stethoscopes, 3 otoscopes and 2 electric thermometers. As soon as campers arrive, they must each have a physical examination performed by medical staff. An organized, equipped cart will help document medical conditions of campers in a streamlined, efficient manner and will be easily accessed at any time by any medical volunteer. The equipment has an estimated life-span of 12-15. Camp Laurel offers a medically and physically safe, structured environment within which campers can test their perceived limits. The staff builds self-esteem, self-worth, and self-confidence in the children, in addition to teaching them how to live in a cooperative environment. The children try new activities, develop knowledge of nature and share a bond with other children living with or affected by HIV/AIDS. Being away from family and meeting the challenge of a new environment fosters self-confidence and independence and creates an atmosphere where children can forget about their illness or the illness of a family member and enjoy life. Camp offerings include a winter weekend family camp, a leadership/survival challenge, a teen adventure camp, and a summer camp. In addition, there are several 1-day camps throughout the year for kids and their families.