Last June I had the opportunity to take portraits of children at a very special camp. Royal Family Kids’ Camp is an amazing ministry focused at caring for foster children. Our church has hosted a free camp for these children for years and years and have seen the lives of children who have known abuse and neglect be dramatically affected. There are two children for every counselor and they are lavished with a week of fun and games and care and LOVE. Besides great fun in a structured enviroment, they learn that there is HOPE.
Last year I was invited to come and take portraits of the children. I got there a little early and one of the camp directors graciously walked me all around. There was a huge lineup of bikes for the kids to use, several crafts, woodworking, dress up, nail polish/pampering station. There was swimming, activities, chapel and lots and lots of activities planned to show the love of God to these children, through adults that genuinely care.
What a gorgeous lineup of children I had. They are just kids, full of hope and dreams. So responsive to care and the connections they receive there, it was a blessing to be with them. I wish I could show you the images but in the interest of protecting foster children, I am not permitted to share pictures of their faces. However, as I edited them, I wept at how precious they are. We had them printed, framed in 5 by 7′s and wrapped with a few extra copies to put on their bags when they returned from camp. I was told that the response was extremely positive from the kids and foster parents. I was also told that when our pastor saw them, he remarked that they were given their dignity and looked loved….which is exactly as it should be.
I’ve been asked to come again and I have the date on my calendar for the third week of June. Last year, I put out the opportunity to partner with me in the producing of these images and frames and the response was so wonderful. People donated 5 by 7 frames and also gave me money to pay for the remainder of frames. In fact, we got more money than I needed and were able to purchase four, brand new sleeping bags for the leadership to give to some of the kids who arrive without proper blankets or sleeping bags.
So, I’m asking again. I know that there are many things to support out there but if you have it on your heart would you consider:
1. donating any number of new 5 by 7 frames (any color is great).
2. donating money to purchase frames and pay for the cost of extra prints.
There will be 60 kids there so I am guessing we’ll need close to $300 for this project.
A portrait that captures a special child like this is a gift.
So even though I can’t share his face, I do want to share a cropped picture of the coolest hair that I photographed at Royal Family Last Year. I’m going to be looking for that green stripe again!