Due to ongoing concerns regarding the health and safety of our youth, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Camp to Belong MA 2020. We will be monitoring the situation and adhering to the guidance offered by Governor Baker. We remain committed to offering experiences for siblings separated in foster care to connect, and will begin planning in-person programs when it is safe to do so.
In the meantime, we are offering virtual Sibling Sundays and are planning for “virtual” camp activities during what would have been our week of camp. Youth currently enrolled in any of our programs will automatically be invited to participate. If you have a new sibling group to refer, please visit our “for social workers” page.
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.
2020 CTB-MA is scheduled for Friday, August 21 – Wednesday, August 26, 2020
Location: Pittsfield, MA
Enrollment opens: April 1, 2020
Enrollment closes: August 1, 2020
Transportation: Sibling Connections charters buses with pick up points across the state including Chicopee, Shrewsbury, Middleboro, Reading, and Lowell. Caregivers (foster families or DCF social workers) are responsible for the transportation to and from the bus points.
Registration fees: 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 email@example.com.
Camp To Belong Impact
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 CTB-MA 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. CTB-MA 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.
The 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.
Camp-Wide Birthday Party
Ropes Course/Climbing Wall
Sibling Talent Show
Boating (canoe, SUP, kayak)
Creative Art Projects such as the “Sibling Pillow Project”
Family Scrapbook Activity
Hear from Wilson, who has attended CTB-MA for the last three years on what he loves about camp: