Ah, sweet summertime. A time full of sunshine, swimming, popsicles and…summer camp. At Firespring, we leverage our people, products and profit as a force for good. I had the opportunity to do just that when I worked as a counselor for a week at Royal Family Kids’ Camp.
Now, RFKC isn’t like any other summer camp. It focuses uniquely on children who have been in the foster care system. And with 3.6 million children in the United States who have been abused, neglected or abandoned, these national camps make a necessary difference. They have special guidelines, different rules and specific instructions that go with every aspect of the camp, all to promote personal one-on-one connections between campers and their counselors.
For kids who may rarely get loved on, a week at RFKC feels like heaven on earth.
So when I left for my first year as an RFKC counselor, I was nervous to say the least. But, I take Firespring’s force for good motto to heart, so I took it with me as I made my way to camp.
Who Was There
Royal Family Kids’ Camp caters to a very specific type of camper: elementary-aged children who have been or are in the foster care system. Their current situations range from living in a foster home, happily adopted or still with their abusers. All of the children at RFKC have been abused in their lifetime by a loved one.
What We Did
In terms of recreation, RFKC is a regular camp. It has every activity you could think of from lake inflatables and horseback riding to archery, obstacle courses and zip lining. The list goes on. During the week, counselors pair up with only two campers in order to promote personal connections.
For kids who have had to be adults their entire lives, a week of adventures and pure fun is something brand new. For a short time, they don’t have to worry about the outside world and get to just be kids.
Why It’s Important
Working at Royal Family Kids’ Camp, I saw what a force for good can really do. I watched as timid and scared children came out of their shells and became confident and excited within a matter of days. I got to encourage children who had no idea how to be kids to have fun and grow back down within a week.
RFKC shows how a little attention and a whole lot of love can take children from wounded to wonderful, and this experience influences the kids for the rest of their lives.
How It Impacted Me
When I came to camp, I felt anxious beyond words. I wanted to be a good counselor, and most importantly I wanted the kids to like me. But when I arrived, I learned quickly a mindset like that was completely off. Camp wasn’t about me. It was about making sure children in need were taken care of in every possible way. It was about being a force for good in their lives.
I didn’t expect RFKC to change my life, but it did. I left camp feeling exhausted and overwhelmed, but overjoyed at the miracles accomplished in such a short time. Not only were those kiddos impacted; giving to them had shifted my heart too.
We at Firespring believe in leveraging our people, products and profit as a force for good. We bring it every day. We have each other’s back. We give a shit. Royal Family Kids’ Camp believes in these values too.
When I worked as an RFKC counselor, I had the opportunity to bring Firespring’s values with me to camp and bring back my experience to Firespring when I returned.
I’m proud to work for a company that believes in such things and instills them in their people. If you haven’t had the opportunity to work as a camp counselor, I highly encourage it. Give to others, let them impact your life and be a force for good.
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