Camp to Belong

Camp to Belong MA (CTB-MA)  brings 115 campers (40-50 sibling groups) together for a week of fun and family bonding time! In addition to traditional camp activities (horseback riding, beach parties, carnival, banana boats, ropes course, culinary arts, etc.), a trademark of CTB-MA is the inclusion of family programming including belated birthday parties, sibling pillow making, and family scrap booking. Siblings have reported that this is the best week of their year, and evaluations conducted show that the time spent together has positive effects in terms of both their relationships with one another and their general emotional well being.

Staffing: In addition to camp activities staff, CTB-MA brings up to 75 trained volunteers, many of whom are social workers, clinicians, and nurses to support the children throughout the week. We maintain a 3:1 counselor to camper ratio.

Dates: August 11-16, 2019

Location: Camp Matoaka, Smithfield, ME

Enrollment opens: April 1, 2019

Enrollment closes: July 29, 2019

Transportation: Sibling Connections charters buses with pick up points across the state including Chicopee, Shrewsbury, Reading, and Lowell. Caregivers (foster families or DCF social workers) are responsible for the transportation to and from the bus points.

Cost: While the market rate for this camp is $1,189, the DCF contract negotiated rate for youth in foster care is $587/child; there are  financial aid packages available for adoptive families who are interested in sending their child(ren) to camp with additional siblings who do not reside together. To find out more, contact siblingconnections.program@gmail.com

Camp To Belongs’ Impact* (2017)

97% of campers reported creating special memories with their siblings at camp.
98% reported getting to spend quality time with their siblings
85% felt CTB made their relationship with their sibling stronger
92% felt CTB made them more hopeful about the future
98% think CTB should be made available to more youth.

Did you know:

One week at camp provides more sibling time together then a full year’s worth of state mandated visits.

Often times youth living in foster care have very few photos of their childhood.  At Camp To Belong each child creates a scrapbook filled with photos of them and their siblings taken throughout the week to keep as a take home memory of their time together.

One night during the week of camp, we host a camp wide birthday party where each sibling group exchanges presents and enjoys cake and ice cream to celebrate the birthdays that they may have missed during the year.

Many children in foster care feel a great sense of isolation and have reduced self-esteem. Camp To Belong works to create normalcy for the kids throughout the week by providing them with a place where they are surrounded by others who face similar experiences and understand them.

DCF-paid registration fee provides about 50% of the actual cost of CTB-MA. We  work hard all year to raise funding to cover the difference. We never turn away an interested sibling group because of funding. Our goal is for every sibling group possible to have the opportunity to experience CTB-MA.

Activities Include:
Camp-Wide Birthday Party
Horseback riding
Beach Party/Pool Party
Fitness Fun
Sibling Talent Show
Banana Boat/Swimming
Creative Art Projects such as the “Sibling Pillow Project”
Campfire Nights
Scrapbooking