By Jill Fox
For those looking to add a little glimmer to their summer, Camp Shine has one session remaining, and it’s not too late to apply.
Now in its second year of providing a free therapeutic trauma recovery program for eligible students in Coral Springs and Parkland, Camp Shine was established by the board of directors at Shine MSD after being inspired by students and families motivated to help the community heal through the arts after the school shooting.
Incoming 8th through 12th graders can participate in this two-week summer program at Coral Glades High School. Campers will attend workshops in drama, music, and art with therapists from around the nation, all funded through the organization.
Program director Mindy Siegel, who began working with Shine MSD in March, said the camp is more than just therapy.
“We feel that it’s about making friendships and being with other students who understand what you’ve been through; it’s more of a community that we try and create.”
Each session has a 40-child limit so that the workshops can focus on just 10 to 12 students, with the majority attending Stoneman Douglas or Westglades. However, Siegel said the organization doesn’t want to restrict anyone from attending. They have a few students from other area schools who have a connection to the tragedy and want to be involved.
Camp Shine meets Monday through Thursday, starting at 9 a.m. with creative arts therapists centering on activities that help students discover their voices and tell stories while making connections with their peers. Some choices include painting, songwriting, photography, graffiti, and street art.
When camp is over, Shine MSD tries to bring everyone back together with a fun and healing program, usually in arts, music or drama activity once or twice a month.
The last of three summer sessions will take place from July 22 through August 1, and interested students should apply at shinemsd.org
- Jill Fox is an Emmy Award-winning writer and producer. She is currently a Senior Account Director at Lon Haber & Co., a leading full-service public relations firm. Fox worked at NBC Miami for eight years after graduating from the University of Miami. She lives in Parkland with her husband, Brian and two children.