Shepherd Snyder Published

Eastern Panhandle Youth Camp Reaches Out To Children Of Families Affected By Substance Use Disorder

Madison Square Boys & Girl Club, which operates four clubs in Brooklyn and the Bronx, reaches about 200 teenagers with an substance abuse prevention curriculum called Empowerment.

The Boys and Girls Club of the Eastern Panhandle is opening registration for a year-round youth camp for children from families affected by substance use disorder.

Camp Mariposa operates around one weekend a month and combines traditional outdoor camp activities like campfires, hiking and archery with educational sessions on mental and emotional health, substance use prevention and yoga.

The camp is free, with the club providing transportation, meals, bed linens and hygiene items to the participants. A mental health professional is also on staff to help teach prevention lessons.

“It’s not therapy, but it does teach kids how to say no to peer pressure, how to make good decisions so that they don’t fall into this cycle of addiction,” said Camp Director Kait McKay.

McKay also said it’s a way for caregivers in active recovery to help provide an extra support system for their children.

“A lot of our families, the one who signs these children up for the camp, is oftentimes a caregiver that’s in active recovery themselves,” McKay said. “And so they see the value in building up a support system for their youth.”

The camp is open to children ages 9 through 12.

Interested families in the Eastern Panhandle can register or ask for information by emailing or by calling 304-279-3186.