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Sep 28

Cats in the Community: David Hyland

Our very own David Hyland, the 2015 AFL Al Lucas Pulse Hero Award winner for his contribution in the community and role on and off the field, continued his volunteering efforts this week.
Hyland will be a volunteer counselor at the Xtreme Life Weekend Camp this week. Below is a Q & A session we had with him.
For more details on Xtreme Life visit https://kids3.org/xtreme-life-weekends/.

Q: What is the purpose of the camp?
A: The purpose of the Xtreme Life Weekend Camps is to teach social and emotional skills as well as character building, conflict resolution, and team building in an engaging and fun atmosphere. Most of the kids have been in the foster system their entire lives and haven’t had the opportunity to ever go camping, go zip lining, rock climbing, make smores, etc. It’s a way to promote confidence and help encourage them in a really positive and fun atmosphere.

Q: How many years have you and your family participated in the camp?
A: My Mom has been volunteering with KidS3 for seven years, while my dad has served for 4 years and is the acting Chairman of the Board as of last year. This will be my second year volunteering at the camp and I got involved through my parents. The camp can only invite as many kids as they can account for with counselors so I wanted to help to make sure they could accommodate everyone who wanted to go.

Q: What are your duties as a counselor?
A: Obviously the safety of the kids is first responsibility. Getting to know them and help encourage them is another important duty. We also follow a short, bible-based curriculum with our campers that include messages of overcoming hard situations and other relatable topics. The rest is to promote fun and have a good time.

Q: What do you enjoy most about the camp?
A: My favorite part of the camp takes place the last day. Each kid is presented with a customized photo album of their experience. Then they go around and have everyone else sign them like yearbooks. The kids light up and it’s really neat to see how much something so small means to them. The bonds you make over a few day period is pretty special.

Q: What should we know about this camp?
A: This camp is something I’m very passionate about. I was fortunate enough to be raised in an amazing family but for a lot of these kids, it’s been a very rough home life. Most of them come from group homes or have been passed from foster home to foster home their entire lives. The camp can only support enough kids as they can raise funds. Most counselors pay the way for their kids from their own pockets but there are a lot more kids that would want to come. Any way that people can help would be significant to the success of KidS3 and the Xtreme Life Weekend.

If you would like to donate and help sponsor a foster child, you can click HERE.