In July, more than 600 foster and adopted children and families had the chance to come closer together as a family, and have some fun and relaxation during the Buckner Foster Family Camp at Camp Buckner in Burnet, Texas.
From swimming and kayaking to zip lines and archery, families enjoyed activities together they normally would not be able to do. For many families, camp was so much more than just getting away, but a place to restore and invest into each other’s lives.
“Camp Buckner was a highlight of our summer,” Katy Adamson, Buckner foster parent, said. “It provided a set aside time for our family to have fun together, be refreshed and refueled. The schedule and atmosphere were so relaxed, and we enjoyed meals together with our family and friends in our foster and adopt community.”
Here are some ways family foster care camp is the best:
1. It’s a place of community and encouragement.
Being foster parents is sometimes challenging, and camp provided a time for families to be lifted up by other parents who understand those challenges.
“For us parents, it was a great time to connect with other foster parents, to learn that we aren’t the only ones who struggle in certain areas and to just have a community you know understands you and what you are going through in this season of life,” Leslie Casidy said.
2. It’s a place of healing.
One family came to camp just days after saying goodbye to their first foster child who went to live with her cousin.
“It was exactly what we needed,” the foster parent said. “We met so many wonderful families and were able to meet other Buckner employees. After talking to so many other families that had gone through the same experience, we were reassured of our path. With God’s grace, lots of patience and Buckner’s support, we will be able to help more children.”
3. It’s a place of learning.
Parents were able to listen to writer and foster care and adoption advocate Pam Parish offer encouragement.
“I was glad to be around a community of support,” Christina Bowling said. “Pam Parish’s talk was encouraging and motivating. I am grateful our family was able to attend Camp Buckner. We will hold this time together close to our hearts.”
4. It’s a place of relaxation and rest.
For many families who are constantly looking out for others, Camp Buckner provided time to indulge in a bit of pampering for themselves.
“One thing I really appreciated was how many people were there to serve us,” Tiffany Cassidy said. “We are typically the ones taking care of other people’s needs, and it was really touching to be on the other side.”
5. It’s a place for reunification.
For two sisters, camp provided some quality time together. They, along with their three brothers lived in a home of violence. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a foster home available for all five children and were separated into four separate homes. The sisters were placed with Buckner families who make an effort to insure they see each other often aside from visits at the Child Protective Services offices. At camp, they had days of uninterrupted bonding.
“They were elated to spend four days together at Camp Buckner,” said Wendy Robuck, Buckner foster care and adoption supervisor. “The girls were able to eat every meal together and enjoy recreational activities. Watching the girls sing and dance was the highlight of the trip for both their foster families.”