We are happy to announce the launch of our second season of the Youth Leadership Program (YLP) also known as “The Crew”. This summer we are hoping to accept 12 youth who are experiencing foster care between the ages of 16-20. Our program was designed to support youth who attended Camp To Belong Ma in the past; however, we encourage all youth to apply.
“The YLP program is an amazing experience. You learn lots of wonderful different skills that you can use both inside and outside the program. I love everyone that I met at camp. Everyone is so nice and understanding. You won’t regret coming! –Yami, YLP participant, 2013
Being a part of “The Crew” for one week will impact the way you think about your self and your qualities as a person in your own community. You will get the opportunity to serve as a peer role model to other youth who have or are experiencing foster care. You will spend your mornings engaged in team building activities with fellow crew campers and counselors, which could range from discussing and identifying your strengths to challenging yourself by walking across a high ropes course. After lunch you will serve in your area of placement (counselor in-training, horse team, arts and crafts, etc.) that you and your counselor identify based on your likes and strengths. Then you will rejoin “The Crew” and spend your evenings participating in fun Camp To Belong evening activities. And finally you will end your evenings hanging out at the Canteen, a place that is your space, enjoying snacks, music, and free time.
Sibling Connections developed our youth program with the help of HEROES, a program of the Treehouse Foundation in order to provide the highest quality leadership curriculum for our youth. We are very excited about this partnership. We would also like to recognize Rise Above and their commitment to our youth. Rise Above provides “rock star” experiences such as fine dining and amazing guest speakers for our youth to ensure that every youth in care feels like a “normal” child.
Chris Langelier has been the coordinator for the HEROES Leadership Project for three years and a volunteer for Sibling Connections at Camp to Belong Massachusetts for 7 years. Chris is a strong advocate for the power of youth and firmly believes that youth should be considered valuable resources to their peers and their communities. He is so excited to partner with Sibling Connections to offer an exceptional leadership experience for older teens and young adults who wish to help their peers still being impacted by foster care. He is often known for saying, “There is so much potential for greatness within our youth, we only have to give them the opportunities to show us how talented they truly are.” In his spare time Chris enjoys camping, hiking and many other outdoor adventure pursuits, along with spending time with his highly energized three-year-old twin nephews.