Camp Noah Brings New Hope to Families Affected by Last June's Flood

By KBJR News 1

June 12, 2013 Updated Jun 12, 2013 at 4:33 PM CST

Carlton, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- Last June's Historic flood devastated the lives of many in Carlton County.

The clean-up continues, as does the struggle to deal with the loss of homes and belongings.

Camp Noah is an organization with a mission to restore hope to children and families affected by last June's flood in the Northland.

Ashley Belisle says the idea is to teach the children resiliency skills to help them cope with the adversities that came with the floods.

"To see even the transformation in one day. Everyone was timid and shy and a little bit scared to be here and by the end of the day they were yelling and screaming and excited and sharing, kids already eager to share their stories with their counselors. And it's really really really cool to see them open up," says Belisle.

The schedule at Camp Noah will help the children to process their traumatic experience through creative activities.

These activities range from singing and dancing, to playing games, sharing stories, arts and crafts, REC time, skits, and even puppet shows.

"We talk about how each person has their own something special to offer to the world. Each person is unique. The second day is about being prepared; maybe sharing something that happened to you, whatever your personal disaster was," says Belisle.

The Camp offers a great combination of fun while also addressing some more serious issues.

"Kids are worried about if they can get to Grandma's house, if they can get to soccer practice. A lot of parents said that this spring when it started raining again that children are worried, they're sleeping with lights on, they're a little bit wondering what's going to happen," says Camp Coordinator Ginny Korte-Castle.

Korte-Castle says the ultimate goal is to help kids know that there is a foundation of support in their community.

Camp Noah is funded through Lutheran Social Services and travels around the country to help kids deal with the trauma of natural or manmade disasters.

The day camp holds free week long sessions for kids in kindergarten through sixth grade.

Elsa Robins
erobins@northlandsnewscenter.com