Portland, November 15th. After 15 years of bringing joy, support, and just plain fun to hundreds of HIV/AIDS-affected and –infected children, Cascade AIDS Project (CAP) announced that Camp Starlight is now an official program within the agency’s Housing and Support Services department.

Though housed at CAP since 2007, Camp Starlight was not fully incorporated into CAP programs until October 2012. This integration gives CAP full administrative, programming and financial oversight for Camp, including recruiting volunteers, raising the money needed to fund the effort, and collaborating with organizations to make sure HIV-impacted families throughout Oregon and SW Washington are aware of the opportunity to send their children to the free, week-long Camp on the Oregon Coast. The Camp Starlight Commission will serve as the Camp Planning Committee offering invaluable insight, volunteer support in planning and implementing the camper experience, assisting in fund raising activities and keeping Camp successful.

Though integrated with the Kids’ Connection program, cash and in-kind gifts specifically designated for Camp Starlight will be applied solely to Camp Starlight expenses.

“With so much to celebrate, 2013 is going to be an absolutely incredible year for kids who are affected by HIV/AIDS,” said Kristin Kane, CAP’s Director of Housing and Support Services.

Incorporating Camp fully into CAP has another advantage: Camp Starlight and Kids’ Connection can be even more closely coordinated. Kids who are affected by HIV will not only benefit from a fun week away at Camp, but they’ll have the opportunity to get year-round support and stay connected to each other, to our volunteers, and to CAP staff.

“The integration of camp with Kids’ Connection only makes sense. Many of the kids are served by both programs,” said Kevin Cook, aka Poison Waters, of the former Commission and Current Advisory Committee. “This creates a powerful opportunity to support the campers year round. I’ve been involved for 13 years and look forward to continuing on the committee, raising funds and donating while encouraging others to volunteer and donate as well.”

To solidify the transition, in January 2013 CAP staff and the former Camp Commission, now the Camp Advisory Committee, will hold a retreat to review volunteer positions, Camp policies, and map out next steps for the next Camp Starlight, which will be held in August 2013. Also, details about volunteering for Camp will be posted on CAP’s volunteer resources page of our website next year.

Information submitted by Michael Sorensen | Director of Development
Cascade AIDS Project