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PO BOX 91506
Sioux Falls, SD, 57109
USA

(605) 644-6834

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Blog

October 2017 JUMP Day Camp

Fostering Hpoe

October 7, 2017 was a beautiful sunny day for our Jump day camp. As campers arrived, they had huge smiles on their faces as they noticed familiar faces from summer camp. All the volunteers welcomed the kids with bright smiles. Our theme for the day was GLOW and it was also national LED light day. Each child received a JUMP light keychain to remind them that Jesus is the light in their life.

In the morning the gym was busy with flying balls, volunteers pushing kids on bikes, campers reconnecting with friends from camp and volunteers laughing and encouraging campers as they made baskets in the basketball hoop. God’s love was all abundant and everyone was GLOWING as more and more kids arrived.

Chapel started off with the song “Who is the King of the Jungle” and every camper sang loud and remembered all the actions. The loudest part of the song was when the campers sang...J-E-S-U-S while pointing up and saying “He Is the King of Me”!  We had some of our older campers help with the motions and getting everyone involved.

Courage was what chapel was about.  We also learned that you can be brave enough to do what you should do, even when you're afraid. We discovered in our Bible story about Daniel and the lion’s den that God was with Daniel, even in the scary lion’s den. Daniel trusted God. Two campers who were familiar with this Bible story helped tell it. Our main verse was Joshua 1:9a “Be strong and brave. Do not be afraid. Do not lose hope. I am the Lord your God. I will be with you everywhere you go.”

After chapel we had lunch and then the GLOW excitement began! As campers went outside to enjoy the GLOWING sunshine, the gym was getting setup for laser tag. Once laser tag started it was fun to see the campers team up together behind the blinds to get the others out with the GLOWING lasers.

For the next three hours campers had GLOWING smiles as they walked around to all the fun activities. Some came out of the beauty shop with bouncy curls in their hair, nail polish on their nails and colorful make up. In the craft room, campers could decorate pumpkins by melting crayons on them, using markers or designing patterns with colorful duct tape. Also in that room they were using their imagination as they made GLOWING pumpkin lights. Some campers even made one for their friend. In the toy room campers colored many coloring sheets, built lego towers, pet furry friends, performed puppet shows and built creations out of wax sticks. The kids each made delicious apple pie that they could take with them. There were extra apple pies, so the campers were handing them out to the volunteers with GLOWING smiles. It was fun watching them give pies and be excited to share how the pie was made.

The last part of the day was our GLOW party. Every camper and volunteer were GLOWING with fun necklaces and bracelets. Everyone was dancing and having fun as they played GLOW bowling, GLOW mini golf, GLOW dodgeball, GLOW beach ball volleyball and other fun games.  

 What an exciting day. Our volunteers were amazing and they had a GLOWING smile all day with our campers.

-  Thanks to volunteer Laura T. for JUMPing in and summarizing this special day!

Love in Action at JUMP

Amanda Barton

Saturday February 11th was a rainy and gloomy day on the outside but that was never noticed by the 60 campers, 9 Jr helpers, and 30 volunteers who spent their day at our 9th JUMP Day. We lined up several special activities that we have never done at JUMP before to make this Saturday extra fun.

As campers arrived, they got the opportunity to have their picture taken in a Valentine themed photo booth. They also got to make their own frame for their picture made out of duct tape and popsicle sticks. It was fun to see all the different creativity in choosing duct tape colors and patterns. We try to have a picture taken of them at least one time a year at Jump that they can take home.

The afternoon was filled with different rooms that they could choose activities in. For the first time at JUMP, we had two different inflatables. One girl was particularly excited and said, "I thought we only had inflatables at camp!" Another choice for the afternoon was a mobile video game trailer. Groups of sixteen kids could choose from five different video games and play for 30 minutes. After the first group went through and told everyone how much fun it was, everyone wanted to sign up again. When kids weren't playing video games, jumping, or running through the giant sports obstacle maze, many of them were in the toy room or beauty room. Many volunteers spent 3 hours curling hair, braiding hair, painting finger nails, and face painting. Our day concluded with group games in the gym.

In chapel, the message of perseverance was spoke through the story of Noah. We know that we all have trouble but if we know Jesus has overcome the world and all the trouble in it. Our theme verse for the day was John 16:33, " I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world!" 

What a day for our campers to be embraced in the love God has for them through all the volunteers in everything that they did:

  • Love from the kitchen staff who made them food all day long, including chocolate dipped strawberries.
  • Love from volunteers who painted fingernails in many rainbow hues.
  • Love from volunteers who played board games one on one with kids
  • Love from volunteers who sat inside inflatables to keep the peace and make sure no one got hurt.
  • Love from volunteers who took a whole day in February to help make Jump happen.

-  Thanks to volunteer Marisa M. for JUMPing in and summarizing this special day!

 

Climb On! 2017 High School Winter Retreat

Amanda Barton

Just four years ago, new hope was awakened in 37 foster children attending Royal Family Kids Camp for the first time, hearing the good news that God knows the plans He has for them--plans to give them a hope and a future! We have maintained a growing relationship with those campers--several of whom are now in high school--and at a recent retreat, we studied that same promise again, although this time with a much more practical perspective with adulthood just a few years away. 

We enjoy each opportunity with the now high-school students, providing guidance through the teen years. Whether we are out snow-shoeing, playing broomball, or competing in a cookie bake-off, these are moments that matter. Even more, these times together give us the opportunity to explore God's truth and promises together. Each time we connect with these kids, they realize we believe in them and in the plans God has for them - that God has made them for a purpose and each of our pasts help to shape our future. We are with them on this "Climb" as they journey toward the top and discover that they can make a difference!

JUMP for JOY at Christmas

Amanda Barton

What better way to celebrate Christmas than with 70 kids! The Christmas JUMP, a day camp for foster kids and their siblings who have attended Royal Family Kids Camp was a great day! Over 50 volunteers came to spend a day making memories and celebrating Christmas. This is our 8th day camp and we are so excited to do many more.

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Harvest of Hope

Amanda Barton

FOR OUR FARMERS: Your crops are your livelihood. You prepare, you plant, you nurture and they grow. That’s what happens in the lives of the abused and neglected children we serve in our community, and we invite you to grow the future of these children with us.

You can make a difference in the lives of foster children in our community by making a grain donation. Inform the staff at your local grain elevator how many bushels you would like to donate into a Fostering Hope Account. You can inform them directly, or fill out the following form and give it to the office. After you have delivered the grain, call us at 605.644.6834 or email contact@FosteringHopeSD.org regarding your donation. As we are completely privately funded and volunteer driven, every bushel donated goes directly to support our program of confronting abuse and changing lives.

We thank you for your support and wish you a bountiful harvest!

For more information call 605.644.6834 or email contact@FosteringHopeSD.org.

  • By giving grain, you avoid including the sale of the grain in your farm income. Although a charitable income tax deduction is generally not available to you, the avoidance of declaring it as income is a significant benefit. You deduct the cost of growing the crops which typically results in saving self-employment tax, federal income tax and state income tax. As each farmer’s situation is different, you should consult your professional advisor for legal and tax advice on how a gift of grain may apply to your circumstances. This information should not be construed as providing you with legal or tax advice.

MO JUMPs in!

Amanda Barton

A special thank you to the Sioux Falls Morning Optimist Club for supporting our teens and tweens at our upcoming Fall BOOMERANG Retreat! Your investment in these young lives clearly demonstrates your commitment to creating a more optimistic future for kids! Thank you Optimists for making a difference in the lives of the kids we serve!

103 Foster Children find new Promise at Camp

Amanda Barton

Fostering Hope continues to carry out our mission of providing a camping facility for foster children to be able to experience positive childhood memories in one of the hardest times of their lives with life changing moments that will influence the trajectory of their lives toward a better future.

Dreams awakened
Life renewed
Children with Promise
In a LOVE that is True

3 Weeks
103 Campers
200+ Volunteers
Countless Supporters

Believing
For better tomorrows
Chains to be broken
Hope to inspire

Lives changed
Wishes made
Prayers answered
Faces beaming

Freedom from fear
Relief from the pain
Health for the soul
Birth purpose and strength

A rainbow of Promise
Now vibrant and bold
From the inside out
Fountains Spring Forth!

JUMPin' with Character

Amanda Barton

JUMP! That’s what the kids we serve love to do and our last JUMP kept our volunteers JUMPing too! A day filled with over 50 children exploring and discovering through crafts, outdoor play, science projects, home-made happy meals, indoor bikes, edible play-doh, flag football and of course the beauty room!

One step inside the ever-busy craft room and you were taken aback by the calmness and perseverance of kids and volunteers so engaged in wrapping wooden letters with yarn.  One highly active child sat in a bean bag chair and calmly wrapped yarn around his letter with determination until he finished. 

The day’s theme was built around TRUST. The focused time and attention our volunteers are able to give the kids in this one day is a tangible way the kids begin to understand trust. Time and again, kids were asking for specific adults to go play outside with them or paint their nails or play catch. Throughout the course of the day 44 volunteers gave of their time using their gifts to engage with the kids! 

Our BOOMERANG and CLIMB teens and tweens had the opportunity to put their leadership skills to action and did a great job presenting a Character-on-Track Trust Lesson to the older kids. However, with the beautiful weather outside, one child really wanted to go outside instead of hearing the character speaker.  After trying to convince him to go outside with no success, another volunteer noticed the coordinator’s predicament and asked the young man if he wanted to go check out the character speaker before playing outside with him.  He went with no problem.  Our volunteers are a great team and each one brings different strengths to the day camp!

A special thank you to the Sioux Valley Optimist of Sioux Falls for their generous donation and sponsorship of our September JUMP! If you'd like to JUMP in too, contact JUMP Coordinator Emily at 605-271-8142 or contact@fosteringhopesd.org.

52 Foster Children + 5 Short Days + 70 Camp Volunteers = Confidence, Hope and Brighter Futures

Amanda Barton


Hours of training and preparation build up the anticipation for Monday morning -
The day campers arrive on the charter that pulls into camp.
Full of excitement, some with memories from the previous year, others uncertain of what is to come.
"Will they like me, accept me; is this another group home full of rules?"

With cheers and celebration as they get off the bus, campers are greeted with smiles and love rarely, if ever, realized in their lives.
In moments almost every wall is broken down. 
As the campers tour the grounds a new world opens up to them. 
A world of freedom, acceptance, breath.

There's so much to see and even more to do:
Woodworking, crafts, dress-up, archery, bikes, swimming, jet skis, field games, fishing, the list is endless.
And FOOD, endless food. 
Nurses with love with every encounter and staff ready to guide us along the way.
If only life could be like this everyday!

Early Monday evening a beautiful calm rested over camp.
A quiet calm birthing a new strength and confidence in our campers.
As the week progressed our campers began to own the truth our staff were pouring into them;
You are WANTED for Such a Time as This!

At week's end they now stand taller,
Hold their heads higher,
And walk in the love imparted through us,
By the One who has never let them out of His sight.
For such a time as this!

Campers partake in so many fun activities including special events, jet skis and tubing, a Royal Feast with Fireworks and Everyone's Birthday Party, complete with inflatables, pizza and birthday cake. But those aren't the things that the campers thank us for. Over and over again campers tells us and send us notes of how great it was to be in a place where no one yelled at them or hurt them, where people really loved them, great food, where they can learn about God, where people really love them.  For one week, these kids are welcomed with open arms that allow them to let down their guard, just be kids and begin to dream and discover who God has made them to be! 

Royal Family KIDS Camp is a community camp for foster children run by volunteers and supported through individual and corporate donors. To find out how you can be a part of the difference in 2016 Contact us at contact@fosteringhopesd.org

Does it take a whole village to raise a child?

Amanda Barton

As educators will tell you, our classrooms are filling up with children who live for the moment, some because their lives have been catered to, but many because they live in survival mode on a day to day basis and are forced to look out for themselves. They do not realize the potential within them, they have lost the innocence to dream and trust. They have experienced disappointment, uncertainty and feeling alone.
 
Years ago many were somewhat offended when Hillary Clinton stated, “It takes a whole village to raise a child” in reference to America. America, where we have solid families who take care of each other; parents who tell their children how special and unique they are and they are created with purpose. Parents who encouraged their children to dream, experience life and try new things. Parents who guide, teach, lead. But even the best parents rely on friends and community to help their child grow.
 
As we raise our children, we come together as a community to grow the next generation. The village is made up of people. The government can make the laws, but it is the people who are to care for one another. It does take a village to raise a child. It takes the people of the community to pour into the lives of it’s children.
 
Speak life into the children in your circle of influence. Help them dream. Give them opportunities to realize the potential within them. Be their biggest fans! Make a difference where you are, and if you can, make a difference in the lives of foster kids at Royal Family Kids Camp Sioux Empire this summer!

How do you break the cycle?

Amanda Barton

So many people are looking to the government to take care of “these people” and be the answer. Although the government can do it’s part to help these children survive, they cannot provide the resources to help these children thrive, dream and hope in order to reach the potential they were created for. You are the answer. You can choose how to make a difference in this world. You can help break the cycle.
 
Get involved – it’s people like you that make a difference in the lives of these children. Your time support bring positive messages to each child involved and help these children know that they matter and somebody believes in them.

Tak3n – It’s not just for the movies

Amanda Barton

Imagine, in the middle of the night, law enforcement comes into your home, apprehends you and/or your spouse. Your children sneak out and see what is going on. In shock, they run and hide. Within minutes a stranger comes to them and says they have to go with them. Your child maybe has two minutes to grab a change of clothes and a favorite stuffed animal, blankie or toy before he is shuffled between big tall policemen and social workers. Your child gets in the back seat of this stranger’s car, no idea what is going on where he is being taken. All he hears is the social worker making phone calls to more strangers asking if they have room for a couple of kids that night. “They appear to be good kiddos. Mom and dad were taken into custody.”
 
Call after call, nobody can take in some extra kids. For six hours, your children sit in a cold office in just their pajamas. Everything that was safe is now gone. All they have is a few items from home and maybe each other.
 
Finally, the social worker tells your children they found somewhere they can stay that is “safe”. Your children are taken to a four-bedroom home to a family with three older kids.
 
More strangers your children are just supposed to trust, miles from everything they knew – their friends, family, house, car, school, parks, toys –  everything that was safe and “normal” is now gone - dropped in a world where someone is going to be paid to look after them.
 
Will they see you tomorrow; three weeks; three years? Will they be able to see grandpa and grandma again; their friends or neighbors?
 
We can only imagine what this experience could be like for a child. With the right guidance and care these kids have the potential to be our strongest leaders because of the resiliency they have been forced to experience.
 
Unfortunately, like many children in this generation, a majority of kids in foster care feel forgotten, unloved and unwanted. There is no “normal” for these kids. Whether they are in kinship care, living with relatives or traditional foster care, everything these children knew, not only in the physical, but for most their ability to dream, believe and hope, has been taken away. This is where Fostering Hope is making a difference!
 
Fostering Hope reaches out to children who have been abused and neglected and are now in foster care. Through day camps, special events, retreats and summer camps, Fostering Hope is a constant in the ever-changing world of foster children, providing a guiding influence that will positively impact the lives of these kids forever.
 
Foster families tell us how important Fostering Hope is in the lives of their family, not only providing much-needed respite, but also being another voice speaking life into these children and believing in them.
 
For foster children, Fostering Hope gives children the opportunity to just be and discover their potential.