On caregivers, faith, family, and writing…

Posts tagged ‘child abuse victims’

Camp Epilogue – About That Injured Ankle | by Linda Brendle

I’ve been home from camp five weeks, and things are pretty much back to normal – most things anyway. I no longer burst into tears for no reason, and I rarely break out into my own version of the camp theme song, complete with motions. I still think about my girls often and pray for them daily, but I no longer find myself obsessing over how I might adopt one or both of them. But then there’s my ankle. (more…)

Listen to What the Kids Say about Royal Family Kids Camp (Video)

My last eleven posts have been about my experience as a counselor at Royal Family Kids Camp last month. RFKC is a camp for foster kids, most of whom have been abused. After hearing what I had to say about it, I thought you’d like to see what the kids have to say about it. (more…)

Providing a Safe Place for the Kids | by Linda Brendle

shirt

David and I were asked to share a little about our camp experiences at church this morning. This is what I said.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.                                                                                                             Proverbs 18:10

Most of the kids we met at camp don’t have a safe place. They may never have had one.

During training, we were told not to try and “fix” the campers or try to counsel them. These kids have counselors and case workers and teachers and foster parents to help them with their issues. Our job was to provide a refuge, a safe place. (more…)

Royal Family Kids Camp: Princesses in Flip Flops | by Linda Brendle

Cover of "Princess (DK Make-Believe)"

(NOTE: This is a continuation of a series about my week as a counselor at Royal Family Kids Camp, a camp for foster children, most of whom have been the victim of some kind of abuse. To read what has gone before, see the links at the bottom of this post.)

Weepy Thursday

I woke up feeling weepy Thursday morning. Not only did my ankle hurt, but my heart also hurt, knowing that I’d be saying good-by to Jane and Sue in a little over 24 hours. If the girls shared my anxiety, they didn’t show it. The teen helpers had set up a nail salon in the common area in preparation for The Royal Tea later in the day, and before breakfast all the girls were sporting nails with rainbow colors, glitter polish, decals, and more. But Tea Party or not, we were still at camp, and we had dance class, activity centers, and Kids’ Club. Before you know it, it was time for lunch. And then it was TIME… (more…)

Royal Family Kids Camp: Happy Birthday to Everybody! | by Linda Brendle

Happy Birthday!

Happy Birthday! (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(NOTE: This is a continuation of a series about my week as a counselor at Royal Family Kids Camp, a camp for foster children, most of whom have been the victim of some kind of abuse. To read what has gone before, see the links at the bottom of this post.)

 

Dinner

 

Chapel and dinner were accompanied by some acting out and personal issues. Sue pouted when I wouldn’t allow her to work on her keychain lanyard while everyone else was singing. And at dinner Jane struggled to stop when she was satisfied rather than continuing to eat until she felt sick. By this time of day, everyone was beginning to tire, and I had come to expect a few problems. But spirits and energy levels were lifted by the balloons and birthday napkins in the dining hall, the cupcakes on the dinner plates, and the party preparations that were going on in the field between the pool and the Chapel. (more…)

Royal Family Kids Camp: Say “Yes” to the Dress | by Linda Brendle

RFKCA Visitor

Wednesday morning my throbbing ankle woke me early, but with a lot of prayer and a little determination, it’s amazing what you can do on one foot. I was sitting in a relatively quiet corner, dressed and contemplating the long walk to the dining hall, when one of the girls came running breathlessly down the hall.

“Miss Linda, there’s a MAN asking for you!” (more…)

Royal Family Kids Camp: Slip ‘n Slide and Slip and Fall | by Linda Brendle

RFKCAfter my triumph on the zip-line, we made a mad dash to the snack cart and then on to the dorm to change and get ready for activity centers. Once everybody was cleaned up, or at least camp clean, the girls grabbed their white t-shirts and headed toward the tie die tent. Judi and I watched from a safe distance as they enthusiastically squirted dye onto the carefully banded fabric. A few errant drops invariably splashed onto the teen helpers, but they didn’t seem to mind. (more…)

Royal Family Kids Camp: The Zip-line | by Linda Brendle

RFKCBreakfast

Tuesday was our first full day, and that was an apt description. Most of the counselors got up between 5:30 and 6:30 in order to get ready before the chaos began. We woke our campers around 7:00 and were in the dining hall shortly after 8:00. This was when I realized I needed to get everything that was offered in the serving line. If I didn’t want it, someone else did.

“Miss Linda, are you going to eat your sausages?”

“Miss Linda, can I have your cereal?” (more…)

Royal Family Kids Camp: Chapel, Dinner, a Meltdown, and More | by Linda Brendle

RFKCMonday Evening – A Dinner Meltdown

At dinner it was time for Jane’s issues to show up. She began to droop before Chapel, but she perked up during the praise and worship time. However, by the time she finished eating, she was zoned out, sitting with her hands in her lap, staring into space. When I asked if she was okay, she said she was, but her eyes said otherwise.

“Let’s go over there and sit together for a minute,” I said. (more…)

Royal Family Kids Camp: Swimming, Activity Centers, and Issues

Monday Afternoon – Lunch

The first thing on the agenda after meeting our campers was lunch. Meals can be a bonding experience. We sat with Judi, my counselor buddy, and her girls at our assigned places, and as we joined hands to say grace, I felt connections being made.

Food also raises issues. Sandwiches were on the menu, and Jane cleaned her plate, but Sue didn’t want to eat. The server talked her into taking the bread and the sides, but she pushed them around the plate and nibbled at a potato or two. I wondered if she really wasn’t hungry or if she had underlying issues.

Swimming

But I wasn’t there to psychoanalyze. I was there to help provide a safe place where the kids could have fun. We found the girls’ luggage and moved them into the dorm. We were supposed to have quiet time next, but swimming was coming up, and we had to check to see if everyone had swimsuits, flip flops, and beach towels. (more…)

%d bloggers like this: