- Posted by Let It Be Us
- On July 13, 2017
The Let It Be Us team has returned from a week at a special summer camp for children in foster care who have survived trauma. Together with Willow Creek Community Church and Royal Family Kids Camp, two board members, Elizabeth Felice and Susan McConnell, at the urging of Illinois State Representative Nicholas Sauer, joined 125 trained adults to care for 112 children at a secret location just over the Illinois border. Representative Sauer has attended this camp as a counselor for the last 7 years and he proposed the involvement to the Let It Be Us team.
Let It Be Us not only granted scholarships for 20 of the campers, they provided camping supplies for all of the 112 children, including pillows, bug spray, sun screen, beach toys, beach towels and swimming goggles. Donors from across the State of Illinois stepped up to fill the supplies from an Amazon wish list. The camping scholarships were provided via a grant from the Illinois Association of Junior High Student Councils, which was the result of fundraising campaigns by 100 middle schools throughout the State of Illinois. This was a strategic effort that resulted in the perfect example of children helping and serving children.
“This culmination of efforts made it possible for these children in foster care who desperately need a week of respite in the care of trained and committed camp staff,” said Doug Locke, Board Member of Let It Be Us and Co-Chair of the Summer Camp Program. “Through the course of the week at camp the children are taught to be hopeful and resilient.”
“It’s a week away from a tumultuous life and we helped them become stronger, while also having fun, as kids are supposed to,” said Susan McConnell, Founder of Let It Be Us and Camp Counselor for a week. “They are reminded over and over again that they are never alone, that God is always with them, and they are taught how to use this higher power in their every day decision making. It was one of the hardest things – physically and emotionally – I’ve ever done. It was also one of the most important things I’ve ever done. Am I going back next year? How can I not?”
LIBU Board Member, Elizabeth Felice, and Co-Chair of the Educational Mentorship Program, took the role of Social Worker during the week at camp. She was provided 16 hours of special training before camp, as well as many hours of training during camp, to deal with issues such as night terror and trauma related behavior. “Royal Family was a transformative experience that I would recommend to anyone. Each of us has a responsibility to care for our society’s children, and this magical week was an opportunity to make a ripple effect in a local child’s life. Serving alongside my colleague Susan McConnell and Representative Sauer, we worked together to put the missions of Let It Be Us and of public service into action,” said Felice.
A complete story about the experience, written by Sauer, Felice and McConnell, will appear in the September issue of Quintessential Barrington Magazine and will be posted here on this blog.
Let It Be Us also sends children in foster care to day camps across the State of Illinois. They provide scholarships for these children to attend camps that specialize in community and team building through programs focusing on sports, science, theater, and more.
Interest in the Let It Be Us Summer Camp Program may be directed to Douglas Locke.
Let It Be Us is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission of adoption and education of children in Illinois foster care. Learn more about their work here and donate to or sponsor their Summer Camp Program here.