Kids Learn Addictions Not Their Fault

Kids Learn Addictions Not Their Fault

A summer camp for kids being held in Danville this week is not your typical summer camp.  This one at the Friendly Town Traffic Safety Education Center at Lincoln Park is targeting children ages seven to twelve who have addiction problems in their family.

Dee Ann Ryan (shown here) of the sponsoring Soul Garden Recovery Center says it is attempting to let the children know it’s not their fault that a family member is dealing with substance abuse.  And the camp is also trying to help kids deal with their emotional pain.

Eleven-year-old Payton is one of the children attending the camp….

{‘’I like it ‘cause I like how much fun it is. I like meeting new friends. I just like enjoying it and how much fun it is,’’ said Payton. (Note: We are not using the last names of the children to protect their identities.)

This eleven-year-old girl, Keila, describes how the children were taught they can tap on their own body to help relieve stress…

{‘’Tapping it’s like, you know, like it helps you like (if you’re) angry – you can do like your head.  Or like, if you’re sad you could do like tears like this (as she motioned her hands coming down from her eyes).  And if you’re like mad, you could do this – a karate chop it’s called.  So it’s really fun to do – it helps you,’’ she said.

Dee Ann Ryan of Soul Garden Recovery Center says the camp is unique…

{‘’All of the years I’ve been involved in social service there’s not been anything really targeted to kids that are impacted by addiction.  We have good counselors, and we have good anger management, but we don’t have anything that concentrates on kid’s feelings and what happens in the family dynamics with addiction,’’ said Ryan.  ‘’So this camp is based on all activities and games – and we play, and we sing, and we laugh, and we learn,’’ added Ryan.}

And what does Ryan hope the kids will get from attending the camp?

{‘’We want them to know that they didn’t cause the addiction. They can’t cure it. That they can take care of themselves, and they can communicate and they can find an adult that cares about them,’’ said Ryan.}

Some Danville area teenagers went through special training in order to be junior camp counselors.  They are helping with the sessions at Friendly Town.