INDIANAPOLIS — A camp to help build youth confidence, learn coping skills, and help break the cycle of addiction is launching this year in Central Indiana.
Camp Mariposa Aaron's Place, a year-round weekend camp program, helps children aged 9-12 affected by a family member with substance use disorder. The camp is free of charge and will be held at Camp Jameson, near the Indianapolis International Airport.
Apart of the Camp Mariposa national network, the camp in Indianapolis launched by Overdose Lifeline, Inc. is the network's 13th location.
“Overdose Lifeline recognized the need to bring programming to children affected by substance use disorder within their family and we are thrilled to launch this camp with our community partners," Justin Phillips, the executive director of Overdose Lifeline, said in a press release. "Substance misuse is on the rise, even more since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The impacts on children in homes with substance use is life-altering and increases the likelihood of generational use."
Beginning in May, 30 campers will gather at Camp Jameson for six weekends where they will be able to connect with other kids and adult mentors. Throughout the year, other social and educational activities are offered to the kids, alumni, and families to continue the support.
“We have great programs in place to prevent drug addiction and to prevent drug use, but these kids are not in a state to take anything from it," Julie Kurrasch, the clinical director at Camp Mariposa, said. "So, what makes Aaron’s Place ideal is that we take social and emotional curriculum and drug prevention curriculum and suicide prevention curriculum and we embed it into an outdoor camp model.”
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