The Nevada State Elks Association designated Project Safe Haven as its State Major Project in 1990. We continued to support Nevada Division of Child and Family Services though 2020. After a review in early 2020 the Board of Directors felt our program needed to be revamped and expanded to reach the current needs of our communities. After considerable effort the Board determined that St. Jude’s Ranch for Children more closely met our Major Project’s defined purposed to the community.
For over 52 years, St. Jude’s Ranch for Children has offered a beacon of hope for abused, abandoned and neglected children and young people in Nevada. Through tremendous community support and the generosity of their donors, they have been able to break the cycle of abuse, help heal the effects of trauma and inspire children and youth to have hope for a better day while increasing their sense of self-determination.
Camp To Belong was founded in Las Vegas by Lynn Price, herself a former youth-in-care. She later moved to Colorado and the program went with her. Camp To Belong's continued to serve youth in our local foster care system but with state lines and cost barriers, so few children from Clark County were able to participate. In 2005, Las Vegas residents Cristine Lindholm and Betsey Husted attended Price's flagship camp session in Colorado as volunteer counselors. Collectively they decided it was time to bring the program back to Nevada. Their leadership efforts included a campsite search, the recruitment of volunteer camp counselors and a fundraising campaign. St. Jude's Ranch for Children become the Camp To Belong's Nevada member camp operator in 2008, which marked the third consecutive year of Camp To Belong Nevada.
St. Jude's Ranch for Children is a non-profit agency providing many vital supportive services and resources which enrich the lives of children living in foster care in Southern Nevada. The goal of the organization is to work within the system to become a powerful voice for change helping youth in care to light up and grow. Current programs and services include Sibling Preservation (including Camp To Belong Nevada), Academic Success, Mentoring, Cyber Siblings and Youth Leadership.
Camp To Belong's flagship events are their Summer Camp Programs during which they reunite brothers and sisters in a safe, neutral, week-long camp environment to create childhood memories together that they would not have otherwise due to living in separate homes. Each Summer Camp Program provides international programming designed to strengthen sibling connection through their Signature Programs, including Art Activities, Sibling Enhancement, Life Seminar, and the Birthday Party Event.
The Camp To Belong Summer Camp Program is approaching it's 20th camp season and has reunited over 7,000 siblings at camps and reunions since 1995. Camp To Belong's slogan: Dedicated to reuniting siblings placed in separate foster homes or other out-of-home care... clearly states the organization's goal.
At our 2010 Annual Convention the State Major Project Trustees decided to go to the convention floor with a motion to expand our SMP to include sponsoring children to CAMP TO BELONG, (CTB), on a continuing basis. It was agreed to kick off this program with a donation of $5,000.00 for the first year. The amount of giving continues to grow each year. Nevada State Elks Association is proud to partner with the Camp To Belong Nevada Family and Child Focus in this outstanding program.
For more information, contact Ken DuBois, Executive Director, 4321 Reggie Rd, Reno, NV, 89502-6445, phone (775) 997-4471 or email email@example.com.