Camp About Face Leadership Academy
The Camp About Face Leadership Academy, a companion program to Camp About Face for youth with craniofacial differences, takes place the weekend prior to the traditional camping program. A special application process, including submitting two essay questions, is required for admittance. The older campers, aged 15-18, spend the weekend participating in activities designed to promote self-awareness, leadership skills, and community service. They then transition into the regular camp session when the younger campers begin checking in on Sunday afternoon, where they plan an activity that is implemented into the regular week of camp. The activity often involves a discussion about how it feels to grow up with a facial difference.
The Leadership campers also complete an off-site service project. Most recently, as a way of giving back, the campers have volunteered at Burton’s Maplewood Farm, the site of the National Maple Syrup Festival, which promotes craniofacial awareness and benefits Camp About Face.
The younger campers all look forward to reaching the age where they can participate in the weekend camp, which utilizes volunteer adult mentors, all with ties to the craniofacial community. We have been lucky to attract an amazing group of young adults to serve as mentors and role models for our Leadership campers!
Author of this Article
Carol is a pediatric registered nurse in the Cleft and Craniofacial Clinic at Riley at IU Health. She is the co-founder of Camp About Face and the Camp About Face Leadership Academy.