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Camp TLC (Together Living a Challenge) brings a unique mobile camping experience to Saratoga

On Monday, July 25, CampTLC (Together Living a Challenge) will launch the last of four scheduled five-day camping programs, this one on the grounds of Pine Grove Camp in Saratoga Springs for Saratoga Race Course backstretch families.

Camp TLC will spend a week at Pine Grove Camp and will offer a week-long summer camp to the Saratoga backstretch families who are residing on the grounds throughout the track meet. Activities will include a variety of performing art and sport classes, and will include Camp traditions such as the Amazing Race and the popular Talent Show.

“We are positive that our families are going to be blessed by Camp TLC, the kids and families are already talking about it,” said Nick Caras, a representative of B.E.S.T, an organization in the backstretch that provides a full range of health and human services to support workers in the barn areas of the racetracks at Belmont Park, Aqueduct and Saratoga. For more information about CampTLC or to schedule an interview, please contact Caroline Baumis at 917.363.5154.

The purpose of Camp TLC is to bring a summer camp experience to children who would not otherwise be able to attend camp due to the circumstances in which they are living. “We are thrilled to finally bring this unique program to children across the Northeast who are so deserving of a camping experience. CampTLC believes all children should be able to experience the joys of summer camp and is positive that we will create lasting summer memories for the children and their families that we serve,” states Caroline Baumis, Executive Director of The Joey DiPaolo AIDS Foundation. “The concept came to me when I was Executive Director of a camp for children living with AIDS/HIV years ago and noticed a need for camping programs that reached out to children who didn’t have the opportunity to participate in a summer camp experience. It is a dream to finally see this project come to fruition this summer.”

Camp TLC is an “on the move” camping program that delivers a week of camp to children living in isolating circumstances such as hospitals, group homes, and shelters, across the country at no charge to the organization. Starting this summer, this first of its kind program will tour the states of Massachusetts (Housing Families), Maryland (Children’s Inn at the National Institute of Health), and New York (St. Mary’s Hospital and B.E.S.T) and bring camp to partnering organizations staffed via a traveling program staff and programming supplies that were purchased to specifically meet the needs of each organization. It is CampTLC’s firm conviction that all children should have the experience of camp and the opportunity to be involved in programming that delivers hope and helps to build self-esteem. CampTLC will spend a week in each city and deliver themed filled activities that are similar to what they would experience at a for-profit camp but at the facility where they are residing. “Each week of camp has been specifically designed to meet the needs of the children regardless of their age, mobility, or mental health diagnosis. Every location has a different start and end time and involves high energy activities that are geared towards not only the children but include families and staff whenever possible. It is our hope that in involving the families and staff in our programming, we will create fun and lasting summer memories that make the circumstance in which they are living a little bit brighter. To do this, Baumis has recruited some of the same staff and volunteers that worked for her under direction of CampDirector over ten years ago, some of which came over from Australia to be a part of CampTLC this summer.

 

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