Think back to your teenage years. Perhaps some of your most vivid memories and life-defining experiences happened during this emotionally charged and sometimes confusing time.
We remember that, and that’s why we created Camp Rise Up, an immersive health-education intervention, to offer teens living with homelessness a safe space to learn about the facts of life and make discoveries about themselves.
Meghan Miller, The Floating Hospital’s director of health education, conceived the camp as a fun way to teach important topics such as reproductive health, relationship issues and substance abuse – oftentimes difficult discussions for parents and children. Meghan directed several camps during her Peace Corps service in Uganda and witnessed first hand how just one week made a huge impact on kids.
And, in her current stateside role, she saw how New York City teens in temporary housing face far more pressure to engage in risky behavior than their housed peers. So, she designed Camp Rise Up to blend recreation and physical activities with group classes and discussions on healthy lifestyles.
Held at the Camp Ramapo sleep-away camp in Rhinebeck, and away from their often-chaotic living conditions, last year, campers gathered in rustic “classrooms” and around a campfire to talk about peer pressure, self-esteem and stress with other kids in similar situations while exploring new environments together.