One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking up starfish and gently throwing them back into the ocean. When asked what he was doing, the youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The tide is going out and if I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” The man said, “Son, don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and thousands of starfish? You can’t possibly make a difference!” After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it into the ocean. He smiled at the man and said, “I made a difference for that one.”
-Adapted from Loren Eiseley’s 1969 Essay
Every child deserves to experience unconditional love, hope and safety. Royal Family KIDS Camp Anchorage mobilizes our local Church communities to create life-changing moments for children who have experienced relational trauma in the Foster Care System. Every year we put on a week-long summer camp that uses compassion, freedom from harm, and play to change the life-trajectory of children who have experienced the traumatic effects of abuse, neglect, drug abuse, teen pregnancy, sex trafficking, homelessness, and incarceration.
RFK Anchorage is led by Christ-followers who share a common goal of unconditionally caring for God’s children. Our Christian faith is woven into everything we do as a response to God’s call to love and to serve our community. We meet our campers where they are at with a trust-based, trauma-informed model that is designed to meet the complex needs of vulnerable children. Our holistic approach to serving children with trauma is rooted in:
We believe that all lives can be changed with joy and play leading the way.
We live out our belief that safety and freedom from harm are nonnegotiable for all children.
We treat all people with dignity, generously lavishing them with kindness and compassion.
We facilitate interpersonal and community connectivity by modeling safety and acceptance.
We relentlessly serve for the betterment of society.
Mo & Hillary Ogden
“Serving children in foster care is a passion for both of us. Our hope for camp is to make moments matter for the foster kids in our community, to share the love of Jesus with them, and to join in the growth of faith with our staff members through this experience.” -Mo and Hillary, RFK Anchorage Directors, 2019-present
Royal Family KIDS Camp empowers people of faith to serve children in our foster care system. Through the power of God’s grace and love, we are able to model caring adult behavior and change the trajectory of these precious little ones all while we have fun together in the great Alaskan outdoors.
A History of Royal Family KIDS
In 1985, Wayne and Diane Tesch launched the first Royal Family KIDS Camp in Orange County, California, designed specifically to meet the needs of children in the foster care system. Since then, Royal Family KIDS camps and mentoring programs have flourished, expanding to over 40 states and 8 counties.
For the Children Inc. (Royal Family KIDS Inc. until 2020) is our parent organization and provides every Royal Family KIDS Camp with the centralized training and resources needed to ensure our partnership with the State, Church, and our Campers continues to flourish. In addition to camp programs like ours, For the Children Inc. has expanded its role in our communities to offer foster and adoption services, resources for parents and caregivers on trauma-informed care for vulnerable children, and much more.
Who We Are
In 2005, Chris Scott answered God’s call to start the first Royal Family KIDS Camp in Alaska. The first camp, in Anchorage, served 40 campers with a staff of 60 volunteers and grew to its present average size of 64 campers and 80 staff over the years. Beginning in 2017, RFK Anchorage has been partnering with Community Covenant Church based in Eagle River. Community Covenant serves as our pastoral, mission, and insurance umbrella and has been a key partner in furthering this ministry in Alaska.
How We’ve Grown
Since 2005, RFK Anchorage has served over 970 campers, with a record of 72 campers in a single week supported by a staff of 150 volunteers. RFK Anchorage has also served as a training ground for leaders to start camps in other regions of Alaska. We continue to serve out of a deep desire to show the love of Christ to neglected and abused kids in Alaska.
Our campers come from more than just Anchorage – some travel from around the state to participate in camp. Similarly, our volunteers have traveled from more than ten states to support RFK Anchorage on an annual basis. Do you have a heart for serving God’s children? Please consider making RFK Anchorage a part of your year.
Impact of Covid-19
2020 would have been the 16th RFK Anchorage Camp. Due to health concerns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it was with heavy hearts that camp had to be canceled. However, volunteers , including dozens of letters from staff members who had built relationships with the campers in previous years.
In 2021, we held a smaller version of camp, serving 33 campers. With lots of hand sanitizer, we successfully provided a safe and life-changing experience for both our campers and staff members. Since 2022, we have expanded back to our back to full-sized, 64-camper camps and looking forward to many more!