Camp High Five was founded in March of 2000 by Ms. Bonnie Minter (who then worked as a Nurse Practitioner at Grady Hospital's Infectious Disease Program Clinic) to provide camping and other group recreational activities for children who are living with and affected by HIV. The first summer camp was held in August 2001. Central to Camp High Five's program was its week-long residential, summer camping adventure at Camp Twin Lakes near Rutledge, Georgia. Camp Twin Lakes is a rustic setting approximately one hour from Atlanta that was established specifically for the purpose of providing opportunities for camping for medically fragile children. Camp High Five was acquired by H.E.R.O. for Children, Inc. in January of 2010, as the camp's purpose fits well within the organization's mission.
Camp High Five is blessed with a solid core of volunteer counselors, including a team of volunteer physicians and nurses who provide the around-the-clock, specialized care required. The ratio of campers to counselors is approximately two to one. All children living with HIV or who are affected by HIV are eligible to apply to attend Camp High Five. Since space is limited, applications are considered on a first-come, first-serve basis. No fee is required to attend Camp High Five. We understand that virtually all of the parents, guardians or foster care providers of children with HIV are already under considerable financial stress.
A typical camp day begins at 7 AM with the opportunity to participate in many fun activities. Historically, camp activities include archery, horseback riding, boating, canoeing, swimming, fishing, arts and crafts, gold panning, music, dancing, sports and games, pottery, biking plus many other fun activities. Camp High Five offers campers the opportunity to learn important recreational life skills.
Each year, a Child Psychologist from Grady Hospital's Infectious Disease Program and her team facilitate an informative session on HIV/AIDS for our adolescents. These forums continue to be extremely successful, as the facilitators present workshops that are both educational and fun, and give the children permission to ask questions and discuss personal experiences. Children also participate in an HIV ceremony which gives them a forum in which to acknowledge loved ones lost to HIV/AIDS.
ABOUT OUR CAMPERS & THE SOCIAL BENEFITS OF CAMP HIGH FIVE
A typical camper for Camp High Five is living with or affected by (has an infected parent, sibling, residential relative or has lost a family member due to HIV/AIDS-related complications) HIV. The staff and volunteers strive to provide an atmosphere that is free from the worries, fear, stigma, and hassles of living with HIV. Youth attending Camp High Five have the opportunity to be around other children with the same life experiences and will not have to feel different or strange. Sometimes, the camp may be the first time that these children have been around other children living with HIV. By alleviating the hassles of a chronic illness and removing the stigma, Camp High Five seeks to provide emotional support and recreational fun for HIV affected children living with HIV.
Eligible campers are age 6-16, but the average age is 13-14 years old. Most campers come from an impoverished home, without the resources to spend on a summer camp experience. Many of these children are growing up in an atmosphere of fear and shame without ever experiencing the real joys of childhood.
CAMP HIGH FIVE 2024
Saturday, June 15th, 2024 to Friday, June 21st, 2024
(Volunteers report to the campsite on Friday, June 14th)
Camp Twin Lakes - Will-A-Way,Winder GA 30680
|Space is limited, and will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis
CAMP HIGH FIVE VOLUNTEER TRAINING SESSION