Camp Dreamcatcher seeking volunteers

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Weeklong program for HIV/AIDS-impacted youth begins Sunday

ImageFounded in 1996, Camp Dreamcatcher serves HIV/AIDS-impacted youth, providing innovative leadership programs for participants.  Now the Kennett Square-based nonprofit is seeking volunteers to help during registration on Sunday or during recreational programming throughout the camp week.

The 2013 camp will be held Aug. 18-24 at Camp Saginaw in Oxford and will serve 120 campers, who come from Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and New York. The camp is the largest program offered by Camp Dreamcatcher, Inc., which also provides weekend retreats, reunion events, a mentoring program, a holiday adopt-a-family program and HIV/AIDS education, training and community outreach, a camp news release said.

“Seventy percent of the campers and counselors have been attending our programs for over 10 years,” said Patty Hillkirk, Camp Dreamcatcher’s founder and director. “Our new Mentoring Program provides a much-needed addition to our year-round programming. The program matches 10 mentees (17- to 24-year-olds) to 10 mentors (counselors) for a one-year commitment. The program provides ongoing support to young adults, empowering them to understand their full potential as caring and compassionate leaders.”

Campers will participate in a multitude of therapeutic, educational and recreational programs, the release said. Yoga, massage, mindfulness meditation, qigong and acupuncture will be offered to relieve stress and encourage relaxation.   Art therapy, playback theatre, music therapy and psychotherapy sessions will also be offered to encourage the safe expression of feelings. Educational programs will explore topics such as HIV/AIDS, depression, team-building, conflict resolution, bully prevention, addiction, abuse, body image and family and community violence.

Campers will also enjoy swimming, fishing, canoeing, basketball, laser tag, hip hop dancing, go-kart racing, miniature golfing, arts/crafts, a John Flynn concert, tennis, horseback riding, a visit from Paws & Claws Pet Store, archery, and the annual dance and talent show.  Over 200 counselors, medical personnel, professionals and community members will volunteer during the camp session, contributing over 12,000 hours of volunteer service!

If interested in volunteering,  contact Hillkirk at campdreamcatcher@kennett.net or call 610-925-2998. Camp Dreamcatcher is indebted to many individual, foundation and corporate donors, including Brother InternationalDanskoDeer Park Natural Spring WaterBoeing Employees FundGatoradeGildan,Sandpiper Embroidery and Univision.

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