Camp Noah – Children in Disaster
Camp Noah (Offices in St. Paul with camps nationwide)
Contact: Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, Camp Noah
709 University Ave. W.
St. Paul, MN 55104
Camp Noah is a day camp for children whose communities have been impacted by disaster. Camp Noah provides a safe, caring and fun environment where children build resiliency skills within the familiarity of their own communities, using proven curriculum designed to help children process their disaster and/or trauma experience through creative activities and play. In this safe and supportive setting, children are encouraged to face their fears, grieve their losses, identify and share their unique gifts and talents, and plan for an amazing future.
The Camp Noah program staff identifies and coordinates with locally impacted communities to assess interest and determine location and logistics for a camp during the period 6 months to 3 years following a disaster event. A volunteer team of 15-25 people receive training and are then assigned a location to lead the camp curriculum for a one-week event. A local site coordinator and mental health professional are part of the local leadership of the event.
Projects/Focus: Volunteers work directly with children as camp leaders during the Camp Noah week. There are a number of duties team members can volunteer to take on. These include leading the curriculum in small groups, leading activities, and emceeing large group events. Each volunteer has the opportunity to serve in an area that utilizes their own unique gifts and talents! One member must be designated as a Team Leader. The Team Leader will be the contact person between Camp Noah National and the local Camp Noah site coordinator.
The community visited will likely be exhausted (both physically and financially) from rebuilding and recovering. Volunteer groups from congregations and organizations outside of the disaster-impacted area have a unique opportunity to provide leadership and much needed fresh energy for a fun and supportive week-long camp.
All volunteers must be willing to be flexible and have fun being silly and energetic. They must participate in the camp week activities and possess a positive attitude. The best fit for this experience are volunteers with a passion for working with children affected by disaster.
Educational/Advocacy Components: Groups of church members, co-workers or even friends lead activities, teach curriculum and guide the children through their restorative experience. Volunteers not only help children at camp, they often see their own lives changed as a result of serving kids during such an important time in their recovery.
Time: One-week on-site at camp. On-line training (5-6 hours) and two in-person group training sessions required.
Dates and Locations: TBD. Contact Camp Noah staff or visit the website for more information.
Group Size: Volunteer teams must be composed of 15-25 per persons. If your team isn’t large enough, feel free to reach out to other congregations and organizations and ask them to get involved. All volunteers on a particular team are asked to train and prepare together, so before you arrive in your host community, you will have the opportunity to learn and bond together as a group.
Minimum Age: 16 + years. Team Leader must be over 18 years-old.
Accommodations: Lodging will be provided for the team by the local host organization. Details about housing will be provided in a timely manner from the Site Coordinator, and volunteers should expect to bring bedding and a towel. Breakfast and lunch supplied on camp days (Monday – Friday). All other meals may be at the expense of the Volunteer Team.