Camp Opportunity of Maryland is a non-profit organization that provides an overnight summer camp experience for children from the Baltimore area who have experienced abuse and neglect. The grounds contain modern cabins with attached bathrooms, a dining hall, a swimming pool, basketball and volleyball courts, a fishing pond, hiking trails, a playground and an archery range.
“In the organization’s early days, the volunteers were primarily from the same community of Dundalk, Maryland and recruited campers from their neighborhoods. Now, our community of volunteers come from all over the country, and the world, including Africa and Australia!”
The most important tenet of the summer camp program is that each camper is assigned one counselor for the duration of the week. This allows for a strong bond to develop between camper-counselor pairs. The campers greatly benefit from having this positive individual attention, which many do not get at home. Activities include an overnight camping trip, swimming, crafts, fishing, team building activities, capture the flag, campfires, archery, and canoeing.
In addition to these activities, daily classes focus on self-worth, self-awareness, and self-esteem. This combination helps campers:
Increase acceptance of others
Create a self image as a person of worth
Grow leadership qualities
Set and pursue positive goals
Improve the ability to handle stress
Develop problem solving and decision making skills
Establish the ability to trust
After summer camp, counselors are encouraged to stay connected with their campers throughout the year and we help them do this with various interim events such as a winter bowling party and a spring picnic. Camp Opportunity continues to build their program in order to offer more resources to the children throughout the year and after graduating from camp.
One tenet of the camp program is that the incorporation of certain religious ideas may benefit the campers. As such, the idea of a God or Creator may be introduced into some lessons and each day ends with a prayer of thanks. Nevertheless, we do not proselytize and our community is truly multicultural, nondenominational, and welcoming to ideas that encourage and inspire campers and staff.
Arbor Dog Foundation continues to support organizations like Camp Opportunity of Maryland. If the children in need in Baltimore are important to you, consider making a designated donation, or consider sponsoring or attending their upcoming event on November 3rd at the Baltimore Museum of Industry.