Executive Director Scott Mulhollen founded Tampa Kids Camp in 2016 after several years of him and his wife, Kris, serving as foster parents. With the tagline “Fostering Hope for the Future,” the couple, who could no longer foster children due to some health issues, decided to create a one-week camp to keep themselves involved while creating a way to focus on the foster children’s needs and provide a safe and nurturing environment.
Through what they may call divine intervention, shortly after, a friend from church introduced them to Royal Family Kids Camp, a weeklong overnight camp for foster kids ages 6-12.
This summer, Royal Kids Camp, a life-changing week of camp for children who have experienced abuse, neglect and abandonment, will be held from Monday, July 18 through Friday, July 22.
“What makes our camp so unique is that we have a ratio of one adult to every camper.” commented Mulhollen. “This allows us to really treat each camper like royalty and give them a life-changing week of camp.”
He added that with about 70 campers attending the camp, the organization is searching for 70 volunteer camp counselors over age 18. Additionally, the camp needs junior counselors, ages 16-17, to help with drama and puppets. You can apply to be a camp counselor at tampakidscamp.org/counselor-application.
“The most amazing thing about serving at camp is the difference you can make in a foster kid’s life,” said Mulhollen. “Even though we are only with them a week, the impact affects them for life.”
“It is incredible to see many of these kids arrive the first day of camp, and they are totally shut down, shy and not talking to anyone,” described Mulhollen. “In just a day or two, every camper breaks out of their shell and becomes the kid that they deserve to be.”
In addition to the summer Royal Kids Camp, Tampa Kids Camp also offers Teen Reach Adventure Camp (TRAC), one for boys and a separate one for girls, both for ages 12-15. The next three-day weekend TRAC camps will be held during spring break 2023.