AARP Eye Center
"It is important that we secure lifelong memories, and to do that you have to create conversation and emotional environments and what we call normalcy."
It was Lynn Price’s own story that spurred her to create Camp To Belong, a summer camp that reunites siblings separated by foster care or other out-of-home care situations, allowing them to have fun while creating lifelong memories and strong bonds.
Price was placed in foster care when she was 8 months old. It wasn’t until she was 8 years old, when her biological mother wanted to reconnect with her children, that Price learned she had an older sister.
“I was in absolute denial. Who was this other mother? My dad, who called me ‘Daddy’s little girl’, had just told me he wasn’t my dad. I was angry and confused, and I felt guilty. What had I done to bring all this on?” reflected Price, now 63. “When I met my sister for the first time, I cowered in the corner, repeating ‘You are not my sister. You are not my sister.’”
The two girls formed a relationship as young adults, but Price did not want other children to miss out on the sibling experience. After a career in sales, marketing, communications, and management — first in the cable television and entertainment industry and then with her own company — she turned to volunteering.
“I realized that by being a court advocate and volunteering at a children’s shelter, I could be among the kids that I was,” said Price, who lives in a Denver suburb. “I could get into their little minds and give them hope and role modeling and share my personal insights with the people who cared for them.”
While at the children’s shelter one day, she tried to bring together a young girl and her brother who were living there, but the organization had rules restricting how much time they could spend together. Price wished there was a way the siblings could connect in a more natural setting.
Days later, she overheard a conversation about a camp for disadvantaged children. “The lightbulb went on. How exciting would it be to bring brothers and sisters together with other kids in the same situation without care-providing teams so they could just be themselves in a quality environment?” she thought.