Some information about child abuse, neglect, and abandonment
It’s pretty clear from the statistics above that abuse at such an early level affects everything that you do later in life. The pains and memories of the abuse do not go away easily. About 80% of 21 year olds that were abused as children met criteria for at least one psychological disorder. These victims are less able to cope with stress and pain. What's worse is that child abuse is cyclical. It is believed that 30% of abused and neglected children will later abuse their own children, continuing the horrible cycle of abuse.
Child abuse and neglect and the classroom
What should you do? Teachers in all 50 states are legally required to report any reasonable suspicion of child abuse or neglect. Because educators are not trained investigators, it is especially important for us to report suspected maltreatment and not assume the responsibility of determining whether a child has been abused. Follow through. Report to whomever you have to report to and make sure that something gets done to help your student.
What is Royal Family Kids?
My experience with Royal Family started when I was about to become a senior in high school. A friend called and said that he was going to work for a camp nearby that need some male staff and he wondered if I was interested. I really had no idea what I was getting in to or that I would continue to be a part of camp for the next 12 years. I’ve worked with my local Royal Family Kids’ Camp every year and now my whole family is involved in one way or another. Royal Family really opened my eyes and transformed me. I always say that I would never have become a teacher if it weren’t for the people at Royal Family who continually encouraged me and affirmed my abilities to connect and work with children. More than that, RFKC really affected my spiritual life and my relationship with God and helped shape me into the person that I am today.
Between Monday morning when we pick up the campers until Friday afternoon when we return them to their caregivers we have a constant flurry of activity. This year was cowboy/shepherd themed and revolved around the idea of “The Good Shepherd.” We ran, played, sang, ate, yelled, painted, swam, ate more, celebrated, splashed, and ate even more. There was a buckin’ bull made out of an old oil drum that every cowboy/cowgirl got to ride, a haybale maze, a Tough Mudder course, go-carts with squirt guns, pop bottle rockets, swimming and water sliding, a 1,000+ water balloon fight, a Hot Wheels road rally, a campfire cookout with watermelon seed spitin’ contest, Square Dancin’, Minute to Win It contests, and SOOOOO much more.
Who are the campers?
Royal Family Kids’ Camp is a safe place for all children to come and be transformed. We seek to end the cycle of abuse by creating amazing memories, transformative experiences, and fostering loving relationships. Kids do things at RFKC that they would NEVER do anywhere else. One of the sad side effects of foster care and the social services system is that sometimes children get moved around through foster care and group homes a lot. Consequently they don’t experience the things that so many other kids get to experience like birthday parties, vacations, or trips to restaurants. At RFKC, we make sure that every kid gets to participate and create beautiful memories.
What happens at Royal Family Kids’ Camp?
Another night we had a rodeo adventure where all the campers got on stick horses and raced from activity to activity in their groups. That night there was Mutton Bustin’ (riding sheep), Pig Wrastlin’, home-made ice cream, a raw/boiled egg smashing game, a huge maze made from 70+ 10’x6’ colored wooden panels (it took forever to put that together!), a “County Fair” where kids played old-timey carnival games and lassoed cow targets, and more. Seriously, the fun never ended.
What can you do? Getting involved!
If you can only go for a day each summer, that’s okay too. Most camps have positions where you can come and volunteer for a day, an afternoon, or even a few hours. At our camp we have a laundry lady who comes every morning for a few hours just to wash the sheets of the kids who had accidents in the night. She can’t come for the whole week and can’t imagine spending all day, every day with kids but she knows she can do the laundry and so that is her faithful gift. We have another group of about 15-20 ladies who come every Thursday afternoon each year and scrapbook for about 12 hours straight. They look through the hundreds of pictures we take and craft beautiful, professional grade, scrapbooks for each kid to take home and treasure.
Follow this link, look into a local camp or club, and see how you can get involved!
If you’d like to donate to Royal Family Kids you can do so through this link.
Change your Classroom, Change the World!
Make Moments Matter -- Guidelines for Classroom Behavior
Treat People Royally -- Guidelines for Classroom Behavior
Keep Moving Forward -- Guidelines for Classroom Behavior