Camp POSTCARD

Something to write home about
Thursday, July 11, 2019
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Photo courtesy of Terry Henderson

(Clockwise fron top) Cheryl Gros Ventre, Bow Dolan, Willeon Pease, and My-Ahlin Pretty On Top work together to solve a problem. Henderson said Camp POSTCARD focuses a lot on bringing out leadership and problem solving skills, but also focuses on team-building exercises.

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Photo by Dave Shumway / Volunteers of America

Sadi Dolan practices her shot on the archery range at Camp POSTCARD

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Photo by Dave Shumway / Volunteers of America

Camp POSTCARD participants included, (back row from left) Devin Stump, of Lodge Grass; Deputy Terry Henderson, BHCSO; Cheryl Gros Ventre, of Wyola; My-Ahlin Pretty On Top, of Wyola; Sadi Dolan, of Billings (front row from left) Adam Henderson, of Laurel; Bow Dolan, of Billings; and Willeon Pease, of Lodge Grass.


Tucked into the Beartooth Mountains just beyond Dean, a summer camp convenes every June that is doing extraordinary things.

Fifth and sixth grade kids from around the state are leaving camp stronger.

Braver.

Bolder.

More confident.

More trusting and seeing their own potential in a

brand new way.

Welcome to Camp POSTCARD – a free, week-long, values-based program put on by the Volunteers of America Northern Rockies (VOANR) that is geared toward helping kids bolster leadership, decision-making, selfesteem, teamwork and organizational skills through a variety of activities, while getting to have true summer fun by rock climbing, shooting, archery and other outdoor activities.

Big Horn County Deputy Sheriff Terry Henderson has participated at the camp for three years.

“I keep coming back for the kids,” Henderson said. “It teaches me so much to be able to work with the kids.”

He said the camp offers many kids a camp experience that they might not get otherwise.

“For some of these kids this is the first time outside of school to have a positive role model to teach them to be leaders, to teach them to stay away from drugs and for me that’s the world,” Henderson said.

Camp POSTCARD

Camp POSTCARD stands for Peace Officers Striving To Achieve and Reinforce Dreams, and police officers serve as camp counselors in an effort to make positive connections with kids in the hopes of reducing tobacco, alcohol and drug use.

Teams come with law enforcement officers from their respective county or city. Participating this year were Stillwater, Yellowstone, Gallatin, and Big Horn counties, in addition to police departments from Billings, Laurel, Bozeman, Helena and Great Falls.

A total of 72 campers attended camp at the Beartooth Christian Camp, along with 16 officers/deputies and 11 mentors (who are young people who have previously gone through the camp).

At graduation the officers dress in their uniforms for the first time in front of the campers.

“The shock on their faces when they see us in uniform is awesome,” Henderson said.

About VOA

The Volunteers of America is a national non-profit, faith-based organization with the following mission: To compassionately serve and strengthen individuals by empowering them to build healthy and happy lives.

Launched in 1985, VOA serves Montana, Wyoming and western South Dakota and is dedicated to “helping those in need rebuild their lives and reach their full potential,” according to the VOA Facebook page.

“We are fueled by love and compassion, a deeply held belief in human worth and dignity, and an unfailing dedication to the human spirit. All of our programming is about helping those we serve create whole lives,” the organization states on social media.

The group has eight core service areas: Veteran Services, Health Care Services, Homeless Services, Rapid City Services, Youth Services, Community Enhancement, Affordable Housing and Adult Re-Entry.

The organization is guided by professional staff and committed volunteers who create strong families and thriving communities through “progressive holistic programs by lending a hand up, not a hand out.”

Those programs, the organization states, allow it to move individuals, families – and even communities – from instability to security.

“Our outcomes continually demonstrate that working with the potential in everyone, we accomplish more than anyone thought possible,” according to the organization’s Facebook page.

Making it possible

Grants and donations largely fund Camp POSTCARD, which locally includes the Sibanye-Stillwater mining company. Also making the camp possible are the likes of Berkshire Hathaway, Town Pump Charitable Foundation and the Walmart Foundation, to name a few.

Big Horn County News Editor Luella N. Brien contributed to this report.

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