By Clint Williams, Aid to Adoption of Special Kids – AASK
Hiking and kayaking in the cool high country near Payson is a great way to spend a week in June. And doing it while bringing smiles to the faces of children in foster care is even better.
The Seventh Annual AASK Sibling Summer Camp is recruiting volunteer counselors for a week of adventure at Camp Tontozona near Payson starting June 14.
Aid to Adoption of Special Kids (AASK) each summer brings siblings in foster care together for a week of fun and an opportunity to reconnect.
“Sibling relationships are usually our longest lasting relationships and one of the most important relationships we have,” says JoAnne Chiariello, director of family support services at AASK.
“But children in foster care are often placed in foster homes or group homes apart from their brothers and sisters,” says Chiariello.
Research shows that strong, positive sibling relationships are associated with less loneliness, fewer behavioral problems and higher self-worth.
Camp activities include swimming, hiking, kayaking, horseback ridings and rappelling. A magician will entertain kids and counselors one night. There is a birthday celebration in which everyone gets a cake and siblings exchange presents.
Volunteer camp counselors are a vital component to the success of the camp. Counselors need to be up to the challenges of hiking, kayaking and horseback riding. Volunteers must complete a fingerprint background screening and attend a training session.
For more information, contact Amanda Gonzales at 602.930.4482 or go online at www.aask-az.org/volunteer. The deadline to apply is March 15.