Last August, The Children’s Foundation partnered with Zajac Ranch to provide a unique opportunity for children from Alderwood to attend Zajac Ranch Camp. The Children's Foundation provided our support staff to enable our children’s attendance. What made our children’s participation possible was the generous financial donations from the Southlands Community. Without these donated funds, our children would not have been able to have had this experience. With most of our families’ resources going to food, transportation and shelter, events such as providing an opportunity for their child to go to an overnight camp, are sadly out of the question. Attending an overnight camp is a quintessential developmental experience for children. Much like a childhood rite of passage. Being away from home, exercising steps in autonomy and independence in a safe and structured environment. In addition, trying novel activities such as horseback riding, kayaking or eating together in a lodge at communal tables and developing new friendships and interactions. Together these form a context that provide children opportunities to forge a stronger sense of independence, tolerance and belonging. These are the formative experiences that enhance well- being and contribute to a positive sense of competence. These are the unique experiences that help to strengthen and inoculate children against the adverse effects of exclusion and isolation.
Through this unique partnership between Zajac Ranch, the Southlands Community and The Children’s Foundation, we were able to provide and a unique and amazing experience to 12 kids who would otherwise, never have been able to have such an experience. We hope to continue to grow this unique opportunity and continue to find unique and novel ways to enhance the lives of our children. The events that took place this summer at Zajac for our children really did demonstrate that when a community comes together great things happen.
- Lisa Lowe