By Renee Salyers, Regional Administrator
In March, Camp Mariposa in Tennessee kicked off 2021 at Victory Lanes Bowling Alley for a day of family fun. Masks were worn and all of our families had a great time. It was also a day of enrollment for new 2021 campers. WestCare has been blessed to have a Camp Mariposa program in four states: Florida, Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.
Camp Mariposa is a free addiction prevention and mentoring program for children who have been affected by a family member’s substance use and offers youth transformational weekend camps multiple times a year that provide a safe, fun, and supportive environment that is critical in helping break the cycle of addiction. Campers participate in fun traditional camp activities combined with educational and support exercises led by trained mentors. Additional educational, social, and mentoring activities are offered for campers, teens, and their families throughout the year. These activities build knowledge, coping skills, confidence and provide an opportunity for campers to connect with one another.
Also, Camp Mariposa Tennessee has a new Camp Director, Tessa Woods. Tessa is a mother of two children, Jordan and Makayla, and has been happily married to her husband, Derrick, for 28 years! She has been in the field of nursing for 26 years and has also served as a cheerleading coach, basketball coach, and youth leader for over 10 years. In addition, she serves on the board for the Options Pregnancy Help Center. These are just a few roles that she has been involved in as a community volunteer over the past 30+ years in the Cocke County community. Welcome aboard, Tessa!
Every year, countless children are affected by a family member’s substance abuse. No child should ever have to face this struggle alone. Our unique program gives children the chance to cry, laugh, grow and heal. Kids meet other kids in similar circumstances and together – they grow stronger.