More Than Just a Camp
Since its founding in 1937, CBH has welcomed children to its Delaware Bay-side facility for summer camp programs. Summer after summer, decade after decade, children with orthopedic, communicative, and other challenges have benefitted from the health-giving qualities of sun, sand, fresh air, salt water, exercise, fun, and friendship. Because of this, in the eyes of many, CBH is a camp. But that is just a small part of what we do.
Twelve months a year, across the state of Delaware, Children’s Beach House’s Family Engagement Coordinators provide ongoing support to children, ages 7-18, who have communicative disorders or who live in under-resourced homes. They work with teachers and school administrators in support of the Individual Education Plans (IEPs) developed to meet each child’s needs. And they connect children and their families to other community services, weaving together a network of supportive relationships and programs that help children and families thrive.
During the school year, we also bring CBH children together for weekend over-night programs at our Lewes facility and weeknight and weekend gatherings close to their homes across the state. Together, they participate in sports activities, art projects, community service, and – for the older kids – career exploration and job readiness programs. In addition to helping the children develop specific skills, build confidence, and serve their communities, these activities provide opportunities for the children to develop close, long-term friendships with one another. These connections are essential. Children who are perceived to be different are often isolated at school and in their communities and are in danger of being bullied. By developing friendships with others, CBH children feel less isolated and are therefore less vulnerable to bullying, risky behaviors, and dropping out of school before graduation.
Positive Role Models and Skills for Successful Futures
During their time with CBH, children are supported by a network of caring and dedicated adults – CBH Family Engagement Coordinators, Program Directors, camp counselors, kitchen staff, volunteers, teachers, school counselors, and representatives of partnering organizations. And, because we are committed to working with children for the long haul – from age 7 to age 18 – those supportive adults remain present in their lives for many years and serve as models of support and commitment. Similarly, through the career exploration and job readiness components of the summer camp and overnight weekend programs, high school students learn soft skills, which are essential to successful employment, and explore specific career paths to form clearer visions for their futures.