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Camp Champ 2013

Posted: September 15, 2013 - 12:00am
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A camper plays on the beach at Camp Champ 2013, an opportunity for students expected to benefit from a camping experience.  KJ Metcalfe
KJ Metcalfe
A camper plays on the beach at Camp Champ 2013, an opportunity for students expected to benefit from a camping experience.

Some 53 campers and 25 caring staff had Eagle River Methodist Camp rocking and rolling for four days in June. The theme “Finding the Hero Within” was launched with Tlingit Elder David Katzeek’s cultural storytelling of how every child was gifted with intelligence, courage and knowledge.

Camp Champ, now in its 12th year, reaches kids who generally don’t get a camping experience — these are kids who are referred by the School District, social service providers or kids who would just benefit from a structured camping experience with lots of healthy food and plenty of activities.

This year’s camp introduced the kids (and adults) to a different strategy for resolving conflicts through PEER mediation. When conflicts arose, the kids were coached through a process that relied on them listening to each other and crafting their own solutions. This worked so well that many conflicts began to be resolved with no adult intervention.

The camp was sponsored by Eagle River United Methodist Camp, Juneau School District and Catholic Community Services. A generous grant from the Juneau Community Foundation – Great Blue Heron Fund and many generous individual donations made this a great camp for so many deserving kids.

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