When life as you know it has been turned upside down, a stay at summer camp can make a world of difference.
Sadly, many Marion County children have endured traumatic and unstable family scenarios, which result in removal from their homes by the Department of Children and Families. Even in the best foster care situations, these children can still struggle with feelings of anxiety and uncertainty.
Enter Royal Family Kid’s Camp (RFKC), a week-long summer camp experience for children ages 7 to 11 who have experienced abuse, neglect or abandonment.
Founded in 1985 by Wayne and Diane Tesch, RFKC was created to provide foster children with a week of positive memories and royal treatment in a Christian camp environment. Complete with outdoor recreation, arts and crafts, carnival night, talent show and a shared birthday party, the camp’s mission is to show every participant that they are special and loved. The children and their families pay no fee to participate.
“The odds are stacked against these kids. RFKC realizes kids can go down different paths, and unfortunately, too many go down the wrong path. We want to create moments for these kids so they know there is hope and opportunity for them,” says Marc Hallick, an Ocala resident who has served as a volunteer camp counselor for three camps thus far.
As Senior Financial Advisor with Wells Fargo Advisors in the Villages, Marc’s first awareness of RFKC occurred when his team became involved with a fundraiser for the organization several years ago.
“These camps are for kids from Marion County, and this is a charitable cause our entire team has jumped into supporting,” he notes.
Because kids “age out” of RFKC at age 12, Marc was thrilled when a second camp was added this year. Teen Reach Adventure Camp (T.R.A.C.) is for ages 12 to 15 and offers a memorable summer experience for youth at a vulnerable and impressionable age.
“These kids’ lives have been full of inconsistencies and unfamiliar faces,” relates Marc. “I really wanted to be someone they could count on in their lives, and I’ve kept in touch with boys from camp afterward.”
As a father of three daughters, Marc knows firsthand the powerful impact a dad has on his children, and this experience has made him even more eager to be involved with RFKC and T.R.A.C.
“Volunteers are always needed to help with the camps. If you sign up to help, I can tell you it will be one of the most touching experiences you ever take part in,” he assures. “I encourage people to go to the website to learn about how they can be involved.” To learn more visit www.sharetheloveocala.com
Wells Fargo Advisors
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Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC, Member SIPC, a registered broker-dealer and non-bank affiliate of Wells Fargo & Company