Amara STAR Youth's Summer of Care and Connection - Amara

Amara STAR Youth’s Summer of Care and Connection

Amara launched our new youth development program, STAR Youth (Supported, Thriving, Authentic & Resilient) this summer and we are excited to share our experiences and our gratitude to everyone who made our summer camps possible.

For five weeks in July and August, our Youth Development Team led week-long day camps for kids and teens ages 9-14 who have experienced family separation. Campers engaged in small group discussions around stress reduction, bullying, boundaries, racism, accountability, leadership, and sharing our stories. There was also plenty of time for fun! We had a fashion show with wardrobes made of newspapers, competed in obstacle courses, relay races, and games, went on a nature walk with The Mountaineers and Farmer Ed, took photography classes with Youth in Focus, created clay structures with the Pierce County Library, and made towers out of noodles and candy.

Each week of camp brought a unique set of successes, challenges, growth, and learning – both for the kids and our staff. Some of the most meaningful discussions were those that staff made space for and then stepped out of entirely. Campers reported a unique and positive experience of being able to talk about their stories and histories with peers who understood and normalized them. Campers whose adoptions had been finalized were overheard coaching and prepping peers who were about to embark on a similar journey. Older groups of campers compared stories of feeling “othered” at school because of their family background and bonding over the leveled playing field that our STAR Youth Camp created for them.

Amara’s Youth Development Team has learned a lot about how best to serve our community over the past few months, and we’re excited to carry our learning forward to fall and beyond. Some of our goals for this fall are:

  1. to pivot to an after-school mentorship program, with opportunities to work together toward a common goal;
  2. to identify or design our own social-emotional learning curriculum tailored for our community;
  3. to continue to amplify the voices of youth and those with lived experience in all our programming.

We can’t wait to show you what’s next for STAR Youth!

For more information, please email or fill out this form.

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