Transforming young lives through adventure, education and empowerment
At Camp Rise Up, lessons in social-emotional health merged with scenic splendor as The Floating Hospital’s beloved summer initiative completed its sixth year. The week-long program, generously supported by The Floating Hospital’s dedicated donors, provides a beacon of hope for teens aged 12-15 who find themselves in challenging living situations; New York City is home to over 148,000 homeless students. Over 40,000 young people throughout the city sleep in shelters or hotels, and sadly even on the street, while almost 100,000 young people are “doubled up” in housing belonging to family or friends. Camp Rise Up is an annual summer escape for these teenagers – and a chance to envision a brighter and healthier tomorrow.
A week of discovery and personal growth
In 2023, 89 people under 18 attended Camp Rise Up, including nine teenagers who earned early work experience as counselors-in-training. The week was dynamic: campers were encouraged to expand their physical and emotional horizons. As 69% of homeless youth report having mental health challenges, Camp Rise Up’s classroom component and three unique curriculum tracks saw campers learning social-emotional strategies that, for this group, may very well be lifesaving.
Dr. Meghan Miller, Director of Health Education at The Floating Hospital, emphasized the growing number of returning campers as a positive sign of Camp Rise Up’s surging impact. Miller took pride in the ever-growing cohort of 3rd-year campers, called the RISE group, who, after three summers, have completed the whole camp curriculum. “This year’s [RISE] group had 17 campers, which is exciting because in the past, our RISE group has always been quite small,” shared Miller.