For many children with an incarcerated parent, a week at summer camp is a dream out of reach. Angel Tree® camping offers scholarships to make the impossible a reality. But not every kid sees camp as a dream come true.
April Harden—a single mom and college student—was grateful for the Angel Tree gifts and summer camp sponsorship. But she never dreamed that this connection would one day sustain her through tragedy.
Zackarie didn’t want to go to camp at first, but he’s so glad he did. More than a decade later, he remembers his weeks at camp as some of the best—and most transformative—of his life.
Before she ever saw the lush beauty of an Oregon campground, Lucy had seen things no child should experience. Angel Tree Camping showed her she wasn’t alone. Her mom says, “She walked out of there a totally different person.”
Through Christmas presents and loving volunteers and churches, Angel Tree takes what begins as a tragedy for many families—the incarceration of their loved one—and turns it into a blessing.
Freelance photographer Erica Daniels’ father was incarcerated when she was a young girl. Years later, she found herself snapping photos of kids with a similar story and reflecting on her past. “I love seeing kids have fun. They're just free here.”
Peyton struggled to speak to her dad after went to prison. But the night she returned from camp, she surprised him with a phone call he will never forget.
At camp, Joseph can set his worries aside and be free to just be a kid. Every day at camp is a new adventure for this child and so many other campers. And after this summer, he will have plenty to share in his next letter to his dad in prison.
Every year, thousands of prisoners’ kids attend summer camps through Angel Tree Camping. Angel is one of those kids, and for her, camp has been a refuge.
After Shay’s first year at camp, she couldn’t wait to tell her mom the stories of fun and fellowship. The best part wasn’t horseback riding or laser tag—it was meeting people who shared her challenges and reminded her she wasn’t alone.