Posted August 21, 2014 by Tabby T in News

Summer Camp Reunites Siblings Separated By Foster Care System [Video]

With all the absurd absurd saddening news within the media especially this summer regarding our youth & young people, this definitely warmed my heart…to say the least. There’s nothing more satisfying than helping people in any aspect of their lives, even if you sacrifice a little extra time.

Brothers and sisters torn apart by foster care or adoption get to see each other for one glorious week every year, at a summer camp that aims to reconnect separated siblings. For one counselor, the reunion was so touching she decided to take three campers home – permanently, so they would never be separated again.

Tammy Gerber, a realtor in Las Vegas, told ABC News she had no idea what she was getting herself into when she signed up to be a volunteer at Camp To Belong for a week in 2009, but had no doubts about starting a family when she met three inseparable siblings, two boys and one girl, who all lived in different foster care homes at the time.

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“They caught my eye because they were really wild,” said Gerber, 35. “They didn’t seem to want to hang out with the big group, they just wanted to hang out with each other. I spent the entire week corralling them, not knowing I would be corralling them their whole lives.”

At a campfire ceremony on the last night of camp, it clicked. Campers were gifting their siblings with pillows they had scribbled notes on, ways to remember each other after returning to their respective foster or adoptive homes.

“The little girl got up and presented her pillow to her big brother and she told everyone she wanted to be adopted, but didn’t wanted to be adopted without her siblings,” Gerber recalled. “She was crying, and her big brother, who was 12 at the time, had to carry her off stage. I watched them huddle together, and I really knew in that moment we would be a family.”

Lynn Price, who grew up in the foster care system, founded Camp To Belong in Las Vegas in 1995. Nearly two decades later, the camp has locations in seven states plus Australia, and has connected more than 4,000 children during the week-long sessions.

One camp, in Salem, Oregon, has become so successful it had to introduce a second session this year, which starts on August 25.

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