Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Replacement Blog

July 31, 2009
Apparently the Creator (or google) didn't like my blog last night... I still haven't found it floating the cyberspace, so I will submit a new one. Same subject different focus. Homeless Summer Camp was a very good experience, every city should have one. The facility can accommodate 40-50 participant plus up to 10 staff. The facility is under utilized 5 camps 3-5 days long over the 10-12 weeks of summer. It could well be used from Victoria Day thru Thanksgiving (the cabins are not winterized) with 3 / 5 / 7 day events running every week. The facility is only a year or 2 old so the project is still developing.
Because of the timing (month end) many people had other plans. Only 6 of us went out initially and 2 were sent back for pot possession. I learned how to make a dream catcher...the guy who taught me (client not staff) made the amazing 3-d one in the attached photo. Also I tried my hand at carving soap stone. There is a 5 day camp in mid August which should be better attended. There wasn't much structure to the programs which I believe was an advantage, staff and clients were able to talk at length and just get to know each other. Clients shared stories about parts of their lives that had long faded from memory with the day to day challenges of coping with addictions. I was able to gain much insight into the thought processes that influence an addicts relationship with others. A subject near to my heart since my friend's relapse and consequent estrangement (his choice not mine) from me. It seems the addict believes everyone is judging them and assumes they are alone in the world...very strange.In truth I am quite sure the only person doing any judging is one's better self. My new camp friend was not able to give me any insight as to how I can overcome that particular barrier.
I guess the bottom line is camp was excellent for getting people to let down the barriers and creating rapport between staff and clients. It is important that camp be attended by regular staff from the host organization... there would be no point in build relationships with people who will never see each other again.

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