Crisfield Holds 2nd Annual ‘Camp Noah’ for Disaster Relief
Camp Noah is a national program developed by Lutheran Social Services of Minnesota to help children by providing a safe place to process their experience and build resiliency for the future.
Camp Noah is in Somerset County for it’s second year thanks to a Social Services grant from the Maryland Department of Human Resources Office of Emergency Operations. Without the help of this office, the week long camp would cost sponsors about $70,000.
Darlene Taylor is a psych-coordinator for Camp Noah. She makes sure everything is prepared and ready for the staff and volunteers that come out to work with the kids.
“My favorite part of the job is seeing the smiles on kids faces while they’re playing and having fun with everyone,” Taylor said.
A major contributor to the success of this camp is the Somerset County Long Term Recovery Committee. Earlier this month the committee received the People Helping People Award at the Crisfield Crab and Clambake. Composed of resident-leaders from the county, the committee is an organization dedicated to the long term recovery of Somerset County following the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy in October, 2012. Many of the children participating in this day camp were victims of Hurricane Sandy.
On Wednesday, the HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response visited the camp and introduced the children to some of their service dogs. The mission of HOPE is to provide comfort and encouragement through animal-assisted support to individuals affected by crises and disasters.
Shellie Goldstein and her husband Breton Goldstein are members of HOPE. They travel all around the United States trying to help those affected by disasters. They introduced Camp Noah to their three dogs.
“We are coming here today with our comfort dogs to share with the children and talk to them and tell them what our dogs do,” Shellie said. “We’ll tell them how they interact and respond to natural man made disasters and visit hospitals all around the U.S.”
Many of the children attending the camp had mentioned they were afraid of dogs. After meeting the dogs from HOPE, they quickly changed their mind.