Located on the shores of Geneva Lake, Holiday Home Camp offers a fun and supportive environment in which many of our campers and teens experience true safety and the natural world for the first time. Thus, our purpose is to provide underprivileged children and teens with a respite from often unhealthy, difficult and unsafe home circumstances. We offer these children an alternative and positive lifestyle to which they can aspire – one of respect, responsibility and positive relationships.
Our organization delivers a healthy, safe, positive, educational, and recreational camp experience to children who otherwise would not be able to afford it. Holiday Home Camp leverages typical “camp activities” into learning opportunities. Campfires, group games, aquatics, nature hikes, and crafts are infused with outcome-based exercises and challenges designed to develop life skills: responsibility, accountability, trust, communication, teamwork, conflict resolution, problem solving and goal setting. As campers return for multiple seasons, they have the opportunity to build on these life skills and increase their sense of self-esteem, self-confidence and self-reliance. Many choose to apply for the ELITE Teen program – a leadership camp program that meets monthly, throughout the whole year. Holiday Home Camp does not turn away campers for the inability to pay. Our trained staff work closely with parents to make sure camp is affordable for everyone!
Many of our campers and teens live in neighborhoods where access to the natural world and green spaces to play is limited, non-existent, or it is not encouraged by their families. The majority of these children live in single-parent homes, are in foster care or live in group homes. Holiday Home Camp breaks the pattern of these children’s daily lives and provides them a safe, nurturing respite from their difficult home situations.
This program is a year-round leadership training program for youth entering 9th through 12th grade. The program is designed to help teens discover their strengths and enhance their leadership skills by challenging them to try a wide variety of service opportunities, cultural events, and educational experiences. Camp works closely with the teens year round to provide them with resources, support and skills they need to branch out of their current situations and work toward a successful future. The ELITE Teens are positive role models who participate in residential sessions during the summer camp season, and meet monthly at camp throughout the school year. Currently, 54 teens are enrolled in the ELITE Teen program. We have seen substantial growth with this program over the past two years with an 85% increase in participation on 2014 and a 45% increase in participation in 2015. The rapid growth clearly shows us the need for more leadership opportunities and programming spaces for teens specifically. It is with great excitement that Holiday Home Camp is growing this program, but with growth comes the overwhelming need for additional locations and partnerships to ensure the success of the ELITE Teens.