CAMP SANTA MARIA - When you're at Camp To Belong, you see a lot of kids enjoying all that summer camp has to offer. You see siblings enjoying each other's company.
One thing you probably won't notice is that all the camp attendees are foster-care kids - separated by the system. Many of them have not seen each other in a long time. For one week, they are reunited in the Colorado mountains.
The camp is staffed by all volunteers and completely run on donations. They spend all year raising money for just one week.
"What we do to kids in foster care by separating them compounds the trauma that they've already suffered," camp coordinator Stacey Sanders said.
But for one week, they all come together and become normal kids.
"[It's] the best thing in the world," Sanders said.
The kids come from all sorts of backgrounds. Some live with foster families, some are in group homes and some have been adopted. But no matter their background, they all love spending time with their siblings.
"Sometimes we argue," one said. "We butt heads, then we get over it. Then we do it again. Then we get over it. Then we do it again."
They're just like any other siblings.
"They pick on each other, but you also see them kind of growing together," a camp counselor said. "Building really good relationships with each other, arms around each other, helping each other up when they fall down."
At least for one week, the kids are family again.
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