Bethesda provides a summer camp experience the kids will never forget. For one week, children participate in one of three camps designed to incorporate therapy into the typical fun, crafts, music and activities of a summer camp. According to Bethesda's therapists, a week in summer camp results in growth and healing equal to 4 months of regular therapy. Best yet, the camp participants have a blast!
Camp Dragonfly is a concentrated 1-week day-camp for sexually abused girls ages 8 to 11 years old. Camp Dragonfly is conducted in a safe environment, providing immediate feedback and therapy. The girls are surrounded by peers, Bethesda's trained therapists and mentors. Mentors are past clients of Bethesda who, now as young adults, come back to share their personal stories of abuse and healing. After participating in Camp Dragonfly, the girls show great therapeutic progress through their connections with peers, therapists, increased trust, improved boundaries, and an increase in positive self-worth.
The dragonfly carries the wisdom of transformation and adaptability and is generally associated with joy, lightness of being, change, and the invitation to dive deeper into your feelings and emotions. The dragonfly inspires us to bring about the changes needed in our lives in order to reach our fullest potential.
Camp Phoenix is a concentrated 1-week day-camp for sexually abused girls ages 12 to 14 years old. Camp Phoenix is conducted in a safe environment, providing immediate feedback and therapy. The girls are surrounded by peers, Bethesda's trained therapists and mentors. Mentors are past clients of Bethesda who, now as young adults, come back to share their personal stories of abuse and healing. After participating in Camp Phoenix, the girls show great therapeutic progress through their connections with peers, therapists, increased trust, improved boundaries, and an increase in positive self-worth.
In Greek mythology, the Phoenix, or fire-bird, is a brilliantly colored long-lived bird that regenerates and is born again over and over. After its death, it rises gloriously from its ashes and flies away. The Phoenix represents transformation, strength, and renewal, and symbolizes that she has risen from flames as a rebirth, beating all life challenges and defeating hard times.
Boy's’ Camp is a concentrated 1-week day-camp for sexually abused boys ages 8 to 13 years old. Boys learn healthy coping skills, maintaining and respecting the boundary rules of others, process trauma, and work to improve self-esteem. The boys are joined by mentors, past clients who come back to camp to share their own experiences of growth and healing. The boys have fun with crafts, movies, music, and lots of outdoor activities.
Camp Braveheart is a 1-week day-camp for girls ages 14-18. During Camp Braveheart, girls take the time to focus on themselves, their struggles, and their future. They sing, create artwork, dance and process the trauma of the sexual abuse with the trained staff and mentors of Bethesda. Girls learn healthy coping skills that will help them for the rest of their lives.
The name “Braveheart” is a combination of two attributes needed to heal from sexual abuse: bravery and heart. It takes courage for a teenager to process past abuse. It is a process that requires a commitment to explore and understand the deeper personal impact of trauma. The therapeutic process demands bravery. Adopting healthy coping skills requires heart, or in other words, a commitment to self-growth and healing. Braveheart inspires participants to adopt these two attributes during camp and for the rest of their lives.
Many of the girls stated that Camp BETH was “the most fun they had ever had.” The following are excerpts from a survey given to the girls on the last day of Camp:
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT LESSON YOU LEARNED AT CAMP?
“To respect others”
“That I am beautiful”
“To stay out of other people’s space”
“To use my words”
“I don’t have to hide how I feel”
“It’s not my fault”
WHAT IS THE BEST THING YOU DID AT CAMP?
“Meeting new people”
“I tried new things”
“Making new friends and challenging myself”
IN WHAT WAY DO YOU FEEL LIKE YOU FOUND YOUR HEART?
“Making new friends”
“Putting trust in other people”
“Crying in front of others”
“By not hiding”