A Lasting Impact
Saskia’s story shows how much your support helps families, especially the children. Thank you!
“I think I first heard about Camp for Kids when I saw a flyer in prison. I took the boys (now aged 15, 13 and 9) to visit their dad in jail, and I saw a flyer in the waiting room. I ended up ringing up and went on camp that same year.”
It was 2010, the final year that both Camp for Kids and Camp for Mums ran simultaneously. Saskia wanted to check out whether the Prison Fellowship’s camp was suitable for her kids. So she went on Camp for Mums with her youngest son, Ryan, who at the time was only one year old.
“I saw how decent the workers were and it was a safe way for me to have a couple of days away to replenish myself as a single mum and know my kids were safe. It was a good way to get to know other people in my situation that I wouldn’t otherwise get to. The Prison Fellowship workers genuinely did care and I knew they would look after my kids and centre them in the things of faith and I wanted my kids to have that influence in their life.”
That same year, Saskia’s oldest sons, Hamish and Rory, went on Camp for Kids together for the first time.
Fast forward eight years, and eldest son Hamish, now 15, has been on camp every single camp since that first camp in 2010. When he graduated primary school, he was offered the chance to be trained as a junior leader. Alongside his camp attendance, Hamish has been mentored through his primary and now high school years.
“Hamish even went to his mentor’s wedding two weeks ago! I think they will always stay in touch because they have such a great bond. It has been a blessing, to have someone young and hip who has good values in his life. My friends don’t always have that kind of influence, so it has been a blessing.”
Saskia says Camp for Kids has had a lasting impact in her boys’ lives.
“They are always sad when it’s over. They’ve actually all cried when they’ve left! Camp gave them the chance to meet other kids who are dealing with the same things. None of their school friends know who their dad is, so having a common thing with other kids on camp allows the boys to have that issue exposed with their peers where they won’t be judged. They can’t do that in normal life without being tarnished with the same brush as their father, so Camp helps them to cope.
“I’d recommend Camp for Kids to other parents because it gives the kids something to look forward to and people to bond with. It helps them to have faith. Prison Fellowship have been unimposing, so Christianity is a welcoming thing. My kids come home talking openly and positively about the Bible.
“Camp for Kids is something I wouldn’t be able to manage in my budget. I’m a single mum, and I don’t normally get a chance to have a good rest. To be given that opportunity, for the kids and also for myself to have a break, is sometimes all you need to keep going and not lose hope. Not just for the kids, but for me as well.”