Op-Ed by Lori Hooper, M.Ed,
Camp Fowler Coordinator, Valley Youth House
Valley Youth House’s Camp Fowler Offers Therapeutic Recreation & Adventure for Youth
OREFIELD, PA (5/14/2021) – One of the Lehigh Valley’s hidden gems is Valley Youth House’s Camp Fowler located in Orefield, PA. Nestled in the woods alongside the Jordan Creek, Camp Fowler utilizes nature’s restorative and stress-reducing benefits to provide fun outdoor experiences for Lehigh Valley’s vulnerable youth. Through challenge-based programs and activities led by a Master’s level clinician, campers are able to experience breakthroughs and healing that often result in behavioral changes to aid their future growth. Camp Fowler allows youth the opportunity to heal from past trauma, build confidence and self-esteem, establish trust towards their peers and caring adults, develop positive and effective communication skills, and forge critical leadership skills.
With 43 acres of open and wooded spaces, Camp Fowler has a plethora of fun outdoor activities for youth to enjoy during the summer. Campers can build leadership and team building skills by mastering the climbing tower, zipline and extensive ropes course, build confidence in the expansive heated ADA inground swimming pool, and learn responsibility and healthy eating habits by helping tend to the vegetable garden. Campers also have the opportunity to enjoy other amenities that Camp Fowler offers, including the hiking trails and streams, athletic fields, playground, amphitheatre, fire pit, conference center equipped with an industrial kitchen and entertainment system, and seven newly-built sleeping cabins expected to be open in July. Campers also have the option to join one of the camp programs catered to their interests, including Adventures in Leadership, Adventures in STEM, Adventures in Art, and LGBTQ+ Leadership Camp!
Camp Fowler is a unique opportunity for youth that may not have the opportunity to attend summer camp or enrichment programming. At Camp Fowler, we serve youth ages 8 to 17 who have been involved in services such as child welfare (in and out of care), the foster care system, group homes, adoption, respite care, sibling groups, family groups and juvenile probation. The restorative programs at Camp Fowler are effective for youth experiencing mental health or behavioral health issues such as depression, conduct disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, body image issues, eating disorders, substance abuse, and more.
“This week has been something of magic for me,” said Thomas, one of Camp Fowler’s campers. “The magic not only with the spirit of friends, but of the spirit of what felt like family. This week has reminded me of the good that the world has to offer while making me forget the hate, pain, and strife. We have all worked body, mind, and spirit, which in turn has made us all better people and stronger as a group and family. This was one of the best weeks of my life. For this, everyone has my deepest gratitude.”
Valley Youth House offers Camp Fowler’s experiences at a sliding scale fee with scholarships available to youth who are from low-income families, are within the foster care system, or are experiencing homelessness. A week at one of our camps includes transportation, meals, clothing and supplies needed to participate. If you’d like to make a donation to support a camper, please visit ValleyYouthHouse.org/Donate.
If you’re interested in registering your child for Camp Fowler, please contact CampCoordinator@ValleyYouthHouse.org or 610-349-2835. For more information on all that Camp Fowler has to offer and how it benefits youth, visit ValleyYouthHouse.org/CampFowler.
About Valley Youth House
Valley Youth House (valleyyouthhouse.org) does more than just provide homes for Pennsylvania’s vulnerable, abused, and homeless youth. We partner with thousands of individuals each year to build a solid foundation for young people and their families. With dedicated street outreach, housing, counseling, skills training, health, prevention, and intervention services, we empower resilient young people in establishing promising futures.
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