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EA Family Services hosts fundraiser to send foster kids to summer camp

Know & Go

What: Sportsman’s Day fundraiser

Where: Lake Francis Resort, 13919 Lake Francis Road, Dobbins

When: Noon-10 p.m. Saturday

Tickets: $50 adult, $25 youth ages 6-15, free for 5 and younger

For more info: Call 530-300-8261 or go to camprockingu.com

Every year, EA Family Services — a nonprofit that provides foster care and transitional housing with an office in Grass Valley — runs a summer camp for foster kids in Dobbins at Lake Francis Resort.

“Our summer camp is open to the public, but our primary mission is to give foster children, who may not have the opportunity otherwise, the experience of going to summer camp,” said Melody King, who works for EA Family Services locally.

“We believe summer camp provides the opportunity for kids to learn and grow in a unique outdoor environment. We allow kids to try new activities, such as rock climbing, Segway riding, kayak paddling and shooting archery, as well as expanding their creativity with our many crafts projects, in a safe and positive place.”

In order to make Camp Rockin’ U available to as many foster children as possible, EA Family Services is hosting a Sportsman’s Day fundraiser — their one-and-only such event all year — Saturday at the resort. All proceeds go toward sending foster children to camp for free.

Sportsman’s Day will take place from noon to 10 p.m., at Lake Francis Resort in Dobbins. There will be activities for all ages such as trap shooting, archery and a bass fishing tournament, as well as a silent and live auction and a raffle. A barbecue lunch and tri-tip dinner are included.

“Dobbins is only 45 minutes from here, which makes it a very convenient location for Nevada County families,” King said. “We’d love if people would send their kids to camp, come to Sportsman’s Day, or both. We are also in need of raffles prizes, so if people want to donate items, that would be amazing as well.”

Camp Rockin’ U is a summer camp for ages 8-14 and runs from July 7 to Aug. 9, with weeks running from Sunday afternoon to Friday afternoon. Campers can get physical on a new climbing wall, test their aim at the archery and pellet gun ranges, play team sports such as soccer and volleyball, and participate in games like “Amoeba Tag” and “Steal the Bacon.”

Water sports are well-represented with canoes, kayaks, paddle boards and paddle boats, as well as a giant Slip N Slide. Campers can also learn how to tie-dye, build a birdhouse, or even learn how to survive in the wilderness.

“We allow and encourage kids to just be themselves and have fun,” King said. “This is especially important for children in foster care to be able to come without the label of ‘foster child’ on them. For one week of camp, they get to be just a ‘normal’ kid, free of the burdens of the world.

“While the adults are completely in charge and every safety measure is taken, the campers have a perceived notion of risk and a feeling of being able to independently decide what activities they do for the day. This helps them better prepare for the future when they have to make choices independently. Camp is truly a transformative experience.”

Contact Staff Writer Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

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