Volunteers needed for 4-day Camp Connect in August - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Volunteers needed for 4-day Camp Connect in August

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There's an urgent call for volunteers, especially male volunteers, for a 4-day camp in August that gives foster kids a chance to bond.

The campers are made up of siblings, who have been placed in separate homes. For many, it's the only time, all year, where they get to spend hours on end together.

Camp Connect is a perfect option for people who aren't in a position to adopt, but are looking for an opportunity to help foster kids.

Twelve-year-old Katherine and her 15-year-old sister Rossy are foster children who live in different homes, but one way they stay bonded is through the county-run program called Camp Connect, which gives separated siblings in San Diego County's foster care system a chance to spend quality time together.

"Our camp every summer is four days, three nights up in the mountains of Julian," said Margo Fudge with San Diego County Adoptions.

For brothers Emmanuel and Israel it's the highlight of their year:

"We talk, we horseback ride. We swim together, and do kids stuff."

Kids stuff most siblings take for granted, but a rare treat for about a hundred kids, who may only see their siblings only a few times a month.

The program has become so successful that the county is in need of more volunteers.

"We are in our fifth year of Camp Connect. This summer will be our sixth camp and as the camp continues to grow and we have more and more kids. We continue to have a need for volunteers, especially male volunteers," Fudge explained.

Copper Bales and Stacie Aman say volunteering at Camp Connect has had a profound impact on their own lives.

"This is an opportunity that you cannot pass up. It is such a life-changing, positive event, just being with the kids, your chance to interact with the kids and get in there and be a kid yourself," said Bales.

"And truly that's all you really, you just want to be a good person for that hour or two hours you have with them. You don't know what they've experienced, you don't know what they've been through, but that one time they're with you, you just want them just to be safe. You want them to be to be safe and to be happy," continued Aman.

To volunteer for Camp Connect, you need to be at least 21-years-old. The application process includes a comprehensive background check and some training to help you understand the dynamics of children in foster care.

Again, there is an urgent need for volunteers, especially male volunteers for the upcoming camp, which will be held August 1 - 4. Volunteers can participate for just one day or up to all four days, volunteers will need to be cleared before it starts.

If you're interested, please call 858-427-1106 this week, during regular business hours.

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