December 11th, 2013 | This blog was submitted by the parent of a child with a Craniofacial disorder - Jeannie Ewing. Our infant daughter, Sarah, was born with Apert Syndrome, which we discovered was a rare chromosomal anomaly and form of craniosynostosis. Shortly following her birth, we were referred to Dr. Flores, who became her craniofacial surgeon. At the time… Continue Reading
Building Confidence for a Lifetime
For one week every summer, Camp About Face provides children born with cleft lip or another craniofacial anomaly the chance to be themselves, make new friendships and build lasting skills that lead to a lifetime of success. Through therapeutic recreational activities designed to enhance self-esteem, campers learn self reliance and confidence while completing challenging and fun activities.
Located at Bradford Woods, on 2,500 scenic acres, Camp About Face was born in 1989 out of a desire to bring adolescent cleft and craniofacial patients together. The craniofacial camp offers a traditional camp experience where children with cleft and craniofacial problems can interact with others who face the unique problem of growing up with a facial difference.
A Week to Be Yourself
Camp About Face is full of activities designed to enhance socialization and self-confidence, while allowing kids the chance to let down their guard and just be themselves. Approximately 35 campers age 8-18 attend the week-long craniofacial camp each year, where they experience:
- Horse back riding
- Arts and crafts
- A camp-wide dance
- Team building games
Trained counselors act as positive role models, mentoring campers and helping them to grow both personally and socially.
A Life Changing Experience
Children and adolescents who attend Camp About Face describe it as a positive and life-changing experience. For many, craniofacial camp is the first time they interact with other kids who have a cleft palate or craniofacial anomaly. The camp helps them realize they are not alone and that others share similar struggles. It also enables them to build bonds and form friendships that are critical to an emotionally healthy childhood.
For campers age 16-18, Camp About Face offers the Leadership Academy as a companion program to the traditional craniofacial camp. Arriving the weekend before Camp About Face begins, participants in the Leadership Academy focus on leadership, self-reflection and skills that will help them transition into adulthood.
Adult mentors, including former campers, parents of campers and Riley Cleft and Craniofacial staff, help to plan and facilitate the weekend. Through group discussions, workshops and planning activities for younger campers, Leadership Academy campers find opportunities to develop self-awareness, as well as interpersonal and leadership skills.
Join the Fun
Be a part of this unique craniofacial camp experience. The cost to attend Camp About Face is $375. Many campers find it helpful to seek donations from individuals and businesses to help offset camp tuition. The best way to ask for financial assistance is through a letter from the camper to family, friends, church, civic groups or businesses who may be able to help. A thank you letter for the donation is recommended following camp.
For more information or to register for Camp About Face please contact the Craniofacial Program Office at 317.274.2489.