By Amanda Boston
Every day in Tampa Bay, an average of eight children are removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. In June, Scott and Kris Mulhollen of Lithia hosted and directed Tampa’s first Royal Family KIDS (RFK) Camp for foster children. Forty-seven campers attended—all in foster care and all with an unfortunate background of abuse.
Royal Family KIDS is a faith-based national nonprofit agency advocating for foster children. The camp program is a week of life-changing memories for children ages 6 to 12. Along with traditional camp activities, children learn about God’s unconditional love in a safe and caring environment. With a camp ratio of one child to one camp counselor, each child receives a tremendous amount of love and attention. While most children are excited to attend, some children can be a bit apprehensive.
Concerning June’s RFK Camp, Scott said, “It was amazing to see the transformation of the kids throughout the week.” He continued, “One 11-year-old girl showed up to registration, and you could tell she did not want to be there. Her arms were crossed, and she had a scowl on her face.”
Scott reported that by mid-week, the young girl began to smile and engage with others. In fact, she even entered the talent show. He attributes her turnaround to the unwavering display of patience and unconditional love from her counselor. According to Scott, this sweet saga is just one of many.
“It is truly amazing what one week can do to change these kids lives,” said Scott. “We are looking forward to having a second year of camp in 2018.”
Next year’s RFK Camp dates are Sunday, July 1 to Sunday, July 8. The free camp is expanding from 47 kids to 64 kids and will require additional volunteers and funding. Scott is grateful for sponsorships and donations collected for the 2017 camp, and soon, he will begin fundraising for the 2018 camp.
To find out more or to donate, visit www.TampaKidsCamp.org or contact Scott Mulhollen, the camp director at Scott@rfkctb.com. Royal Family KIDS Camp of Tampa Bay is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity under the name Tampa Foster KIDS Camp – FEIN 81-1735611. All donations are tax deductible.