Children of Incarcerated Parents (CIP) Summer Camp
Children who have an incarcerated parent sometimes feel as though they are the only ones in the world in this situation. Yet, 1 in every 28 children in the United States has an incarcerated parent.
For the first time in 2012, the Family Connections Center (FCC) partnered with Camp Spaulding of Child and Family Services to offer a 12-day camp session for children who had a father who was incarcerated in New Hampshire State Prison – Berlin or Concord – and involved in the FCC. The children spent 10 days at the camp and took 2 field trips into the prison to spend the day with DAD! This Children of Incarcerated Parents (CIP) Camp is now offered every summer, depending upon private donations, and has been extended to include those children who may also have a mother who is incarcerated in the Goffstown facility.
The CIP summer camp program was created to help these children realize that they are not alone, to share experiences with other children in similar situations, to have a traditional summer camp adventure, and get to spend some quality time with mom or dad playing games and making a mural of the two of them having a perfect day together
At Camp Spaulding, these children have the opportunity to experience two weeks of overnight camping on 55 acres of forest along the Contoocook River. Adventures include swimming, canoeing, horseback riding, ropes challenge courses, arts & crafts, theatre games and more! Plus, the CIP campers have the added benefit of enjoying some extra activities that are specially designed for them.
CIP campers meet and talk with the staff from the Family Connections Center during their first week at Camp Spaulding. They can ask questions about their field trip the next week to visit their mom or dad.
After the first week at camp, CIP campers take a field trip to visit their incarcerated parent at the Family Connections Center, either in Concord or Goffstown. With the guidance of an artist, each parent and child(ren) creates a mural that is publicly displayed after camp and eventually goes home to the child. The families eat together and create memories that will last a lifetime. Some of these fathers have never shared a meal with their child or ever spent time with their child outside of the prison visiting room.
The eligible parents in the Family Connections Center also participate in a “summer camp” leading up to the days the children come to visit. This will consist of creating and putting on a skit for the children, preparing activities and refreshing their knowledge of their child’s developmental stage.
We hope to secure sponsorship (campership) for the children involved with the FCC program so that there is no cost to the family left behind. The cost of this camp session is $1,000 for the 12 days, including the time spent with their incarcerated parent.
If you would like to donate or sponsor a child in this program, donations can be mailed directly to:
Camp Spaulding CIP Camp
PO Box 448
Manchester, NH 03105
or through the CFS website.