Local Children Focus on their Futures at “Chipola Champs Camp”

For Immediate Release: February 20, 2013 
Contact: Nicole Stookey, Department of Children and Families, (850) 509-2675

Local Children Focus on their Futures at “Chipola Champs Camp” 
Camp offered as part of DCF’s Camps for Champions initiative for youth in foster care

MARIANNA—Fourteen area youth in foster care or receiving services in their own homes gained invaluable life experience through the many educational and career-focused activities offered at the first Chipola Champs Camp. The Department of Children and Families, Big Bend Community Based Care and Anchorage Children’s Home teamed up with Chipola College to host the two-day camp for children ages 11-17. The camp gave the youth an opportunity to experience a college environment while participating in fun and educational arts, athletics and academic activities.

The Chipola Champs Camp is offered as one of more than a dozen statewide Camps for Champions (www.campsforchampions.com) providing year-round camp experiences for more than 1,000 children in foster care. The Chipola Champs Camp is the first to offer a curriculum focused on post-secondary education and careers. It is also the first to pair the youth with an adult volunteer who will guide and motivate them on an ongoing basis. 

“We thank Chipola College for designing an incredible curriculum full of hands-on activities that really got our kids thinking about their futures,” said Vicki Abrams, DCF’s Northwest Regional Director. “Through our new mentoring program, adult volunteers will support these youth on an ongoing basis and enable them to achieve their goals and aspirations.”

The camp was designed to allow the youth to learn more about themselves and their future career interests through leadership, professional and growth activities, and applied learning activities. Campers got hands-on in the STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math with interactive demonstrations; learned choreography from Chipola College’s cast of “Hairspray;” and participated in a session to guide the youth to a pathway to post-secondary education

 “We are very happy to have so many fine young people on our campus to learn about the opportunities for higher education,” said Dr. Gene Prough, President of Chipola College. “I am proud of all the students and faculty who helped make this day a great success.”

Chipola College is a valued DCF “Partner for Promise.” Since January 2012, the “Partners for Promise” initiative has recognized more than 2,000 businesses that donate their time, talent and resources to enrich the lives of people in the communities. For more information, please visit www.flpartnersforpromise.com

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science demonstration at camp
Science Demonstration: Chipola College's Science Club uses liquid nitrogen to wow campers at Chipola Champs Camp.

mentor demonstrating at camp
Mentor and Camper: Mentor Bubba McCants and camper Luke make a smoke cannon during the "Weird Science" session

child using iPad at camp
Technology Session: One of Chipola's Future Educators shows a camper how do fractions on an iPad