CAMP RILEA - The Oregon National Guard partners once again with Home Forward (formerly the Housing Authorities of Portland and Southwest Washington) and the Portland Police Bureau to host an annual summer camp for at-risk youth, July 22-27 at Camp Rilea in Warrenton, Ore.
Camp Rosenbaum, one of the most unique camps for underprivileged and at-risk children, hosts approximately 160 children, ages 9-11. Attendees experience a one-of-a-kind camp that aims to teach good citizenship skills, motivate kids to stay in school, remain drug-free and out of gangs and encourages them to set positive goals for the future.
What started 42 years ago as a way to help at-risk youth living in public housing in Oregon and Southwest Washington, has since resulted in thousands of children experiencing this life-changing camp. Staff and volunteers from the Oregon Air National Guard, Portland Police Bureau, Home Forward (formerly the Housing Authority of Portland), and other housing authority employees and emergency responder personnel come together to make this camp a magical and memorable week for the kids.
"There is no other camp in the U.S. that's as collaborative nor as determined as we are to keep kids off drugs and in school," says current Camp Director Oregon Air National Guard Lt. Col. Donna Prigmore.
In addition to participating in various camp activities, all campers attend a two-hour Gang Resistance and Education Training course, taught by a Portland Police officer, and receive mentorship on contributing to their communities in positive ways.
"We do our very best to set them up for success," Prigmore said. "We give them tools in their tool box to help them make good decisions for their future and fend off peer pressure."