The Van Wert County Courthouse

Tuesday, May. 24, 2022

Marsh Foundation provides summer camp

Independent staff and submitted information

This summer, The Marsh Foundation Foster Care Division held a successful day camp for youths in its clinical program, with a total of 14 young people ranging in age from 5 to 15 who participated. The camp was held from 9 a.m. until noon each day for one week and featured a daily theme: friendship, kindness, emotions, choices and leadership.

Youths enjoy a summer camp activity in the Marsh Foundation gymnasium. Marsh photo

According to Foster Care Director Melissa Snyder, the purpose of the camp was to allow youths to come together and participate in fun activities, while also learning positive character traits. 

“It was an amazing adventure, and all of the kids were very well behaved,” she said. “It was great for our staff to get to know the kids on a more personal level and it was also cool to see them form friendships among themselves.” 

An additional perk to the camp was the free time foster parents received each of those mornings.

Activities coordinated with each daily theme and included activity pages, deep breathing, yoga, dance parties, games, reading, crafts, and group parachute activities. Some crafts included friendship bracelets and heart sun catchers. Lunch was provided by the Marsh kitchen staff. 

Friday included zip lining and rock wall climbing at the YMCA’s Camp Clay for the older kids. This was partly a reward for helping throughout the week, but also emphasized leadership, teamwork, and being a good role model. 

Foster Care Clinician Beth Dye and the rest of the department staffed the camp and considered it a huge success for a first camp. 

“Several of our parents commented that it was an incredible experience for their kids,” Dye said. One of the biggest benefits of the camp, according to Dye, was that kids got to meet other kids who are in similar situations to their own. “These are kids who understand better than anyone what they are all going through, as there are different sets of concerns and anxieties that kids who are unable to live with their biological parents experience.”

Dye took the lead when it came to planning the camp and, according to Snyder, did an excellent job. 

“I also think it’s important to make note of all of the extra work she put in to make this possible. She went above and beyond to give our kids this amazing experience,” Snyder said.

POSTED: 08/31/21 at 12:41 am. FILED UNDER: News