Buckner foster and adoptive families know that family is about more than biological connections. It’s about people who love and care about each other.
In July, more than 600 foster and adoptive children and families got a glimpse into just how big their family truly is as Buckner foster families participated in Buckner Foster Family Camp at Camp Buckner in Burnet, Texas.
“I couldn't get over how beautiful every family at camp was,” Tiffany Cassidy, foster and adoptive parent, said. “People of all ages, nationalities and backgrounds coming together to take care of kids in need. I know the kids in foster care face all kinds of struggles, but this weekend was just about families getting out and having fun. It was encouraging to see parents who have been involved with foster care for so long.”
Families had time to unwind, relax and connect with other foster families through worship, teaching times and activities. Parents discovered encouraging parents who understood their struggles and joys.
“Camp Buckner was a highlight of our summer as it provided a set aside time for our family to have fun together, be refreshed and refueled,” foster and adoptive parent Katy Adamson said.
The foster care camp gave parents the unique opportunity to have people invest in their lives like they typically do into the lives of foster children.
“I really appreciated how many people were there to serve us,” Tiffany said. “We are typically the ones taking care of other people's needs, and it was really touching to be on the other side.”
Camp Buckner Executive Director Jeff Edmonds said Foster Family Camp is among his favorite times of the year.
“It is a great connection for our staff to meet the foster care families and share the bigger ministry of Buckner,” Jeff said. “It brings all the children back. It’s a fun time to catch up and see how families are growing together.”
The camp included opportunities that are new to foster children. Parents got to see the exhilaration on their children’s faces as they flew through the air on the zip line or caught their first fish.
“It’s a fun time,” Jeff said. “Children get to experience something many of them may not have had the chance to do, whether it’s zip lines or ropes courses or hanging out by the pool.”
The highlight for many of the children and parents was a talent show.
“Our children also were able to perform in their first talent show and it was a hoot!” Katy said. “Camp Buckner was such a loving and encouraging place for the kids to perform. Everyone was supportive and encouraging to each brave performer.”
Families cherished the encouragement, support and chance to see how much they’ve grown.
“Thank you Buckner for a great family camp experience,” DeeAn Thompson, Buckner foster parent, said. “It was great to be able to spend time together without the usual busyness of daily life. It was also a great time of reflection on how much my girls have matured since last year.”