Mandy Ashford wrote -
"For one week these kids get to actually be kids...it is quite possibly the best volunteer work I have ever done!" ~ CND Camp Counselor
How do you make magic happen? Pair 9-11 year old campers with trained 16-21 year old volunteers whose sole purpose for the week is to help their campers have the time of their lives! That is exactly what Camp New Directions is all about...youth reaching youth to make a positive, lasting impact on a child's life! CND gives at-risk children an amazing week free from the worries and stress of their daily lives. In June, we will celebrate the 35th year of Camp, but we need YOUR help! Camp is offered at absolutely no cost to our campers or volunteers. Your generosity will help send a child to camp! Help us keep camp alive so we can give more campers this experience. Our campers, counselors, and staff thank you!!!
Established in 1981, Camp New Directions is a unique summer camp for children ages 9 – 11 years old who have poor social skills, behavior problems, and/or mental health issues. The program focuses on strengthening resiliency and enhancing self-esteem. Campers enjoy a structured program of art, recreation, songs, and therapeutic activities. An essential component of Camp New Directions is the use of trained teen volunteers as the camp counselors. The five-day/four night camp is held at the Uskichitto Retreat Center in Le Blanc, LA.
Camp New Directions is a program of Educational and Treatment Council, Inc. (ETC), a private nonprofit social service agency in Lake Charles, LA. Campers and camp counselors come from Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, and Jefferson Davis parishes. The teen volunteers are thoroughly screened and trained. ETC staff provide adult supervision.
The bonding that occurs between campers and their teen counselors results in something extraordinary. For five days, these children are nurtured, loved, and offered unconditional positive regard. For five days, these teenagers focus solely on the needs of their campers. The true meaning of Camp New Directions transcends tangible descriptions; it is a life-enriching experience for the campers, counselors, and staff.