Become a Kristen’s Helper this Holiday Season
As 2023 draws to a close at the Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre, we reflect on the hundreds of Niagara children and youth who have come through our doors for investigations of abuse, one-on-one mental health counselling, and our supportive afterschool and summer programming. This year, we have continued to explore innovative ways to support children on their healing journeys, and expanded programming to ensure that every Niagara kid that needs help, gets help.
Launched this Summer, our Camp Acorn is Niagara’s first trauma-informed day camp, and provides cutting-edge opportunities for growth and healing in children who have experienced trauma. Childhood trauma comes in many forms, in addition to physical or sexual abuse, including divorce, family loss, bullying, and academic pressures. At Camp Acorn, we believe that every child deserves a chance to heal, grow, and thrive.
When Ryan* first came to Camp Acorn, he was going through some tough things, including separation from his family and switching foster homes in the second week at camp. It was clear Ryan was cycling through a variety of negative emotions, including anger, sadness, and fear. Ryan was struggling to regulate his mood, causing him to act out in negative ways, like hiding under a table and refusing to interact with other campers.
The Camp Acorn team worked with Ryan’s foster family to create an individual plan to adapt the program to better fit Ryan’s needs, including an increasing schedule and one-on-one time with counsellors to develop coping mechanisms and verbalize his emotions. Ryan improved in leaps and bounds over the summer: making friends, managing his feelings and behaviours, and eventually conquering his fear of heights on the high ropes course on a field trip to WildPlay. Ryan had as much impact on the Camp Acorn team as they did on him, showing a true success story of what their skills and compassion can achieve with a child suffering from the effects of adverse childhood trauma.
“The care and compassion Ryan experienced has been above and beyond. Your impact is truly unforgettable and everlasting.” – Ryan’s foster family
*names have been changed and any photos used of campers or children have no affiliation with testimonials provided.
Support Camp Acorn Today
By supporting our Camp Acorn at the Kristen French Child Advocacy Centre, you are helping our campers become strong, resilient individuals who can break free the life-altering effects of adverse childhood trauma. You are making a difference, not just for this holiday season, but for their futures.
This holiday season, we invite you to support Camp Acorn by making charitable donation. Your gift will allow us to make sure that all Niagara kids who could benefit from Camp Acorn can attend in Summer 2024.