Thank you to everyone who supported the Fish Races last night. Attached is a video of the 42 sponsors who decorated the fish. Thank you to Kevin Kendrick for being our MC and Matt Rassette for keeping the music and sounds going. We couldn’t have done it without a lot of support. Special thanks to Shannon Forshee and Judy McAtee. Congrats to Bob Phillips (Bubba) for his Ben Wackerle “keep the fire burning” award. And many more including our executive director Beth Dow and the staff and volunteers at CFT. It is going to be an awesome summer at camp!!!
We ended 2016 with weekend respites in October and November with 34 total participants.
“Studies reveal that people who act as caregivers for family members are at a higher risk for stress-related health conditions such as depression and chronic disease.” says ED Beth Dow.
“Respite care should not be considered a luxury, but should instead be an important component of a care giving program. Regularly scheduled respites are recommended so that you aren’t waiting until you are on the verge of burnout to get help. It benefits not only the caregiver but also the person being cared for.”
Campers are still being accepted for the weekend respites being planned for the weekend of March 17 for possibly two weekends in April.
CFT also hosted a food giveaway at camp in conjunction with Hidden Harvest and the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan. The event was such a huge success, with over 180 families receiving food, that another food distribution has been set for February 23rd.
CFT’s first annual Fish Races has been scheduled for Friday, March 10. This fundraiser is very unique to our region and expected to be a lot of fun.
Last but certainly not least, CFT is working to hire quality staff for summer camp.
Jimmy Smith founded the scholarship program and has been part of the CFT Board of Directors since 1996.
Every year campers who cannot afford Summer Camp, or do not qualify for respite money through their local community mental health organization, turn to CFT for help. Camperships are available every year thanks to the annual Camp Fish Tales Scholarship Raffle that was begun by campers and Board of Directors Member, James (Jimmy) Smith. Jimmy wanted to be able to attend summer camp and he wanted to benefit others like himself. Jimmy sells thousands of raffle tickets every year at $1 each.
“The raffle is important because it helps so many people like me attend Camp Fish Tales every year,” said Jimmy about his passion for the scholarship fund. “I love doing the raffle.”
Other campers who need assistance with paying for their summer camp also sell the tickets.
This year the raffle features cash prizes, along with other goodies. Tickets are on sale from now until the drawing on June 16th.
Camp Fish Tales is currently working hard to plan and raise money for an expansion project that could break ground as early as next Spring!
Over the years, plans have been discussed and laid out for new cabins, a welcome center, additional parking, a director’s residence, and even a multi-purpose building. The Board of Directors and Building Committee have been working to prioritize this long wish list based on the immediate needs of the camp.
Ideally, CFT has initial hopes for some larger and more user-friendly cabins as well as office and storage expansion. The current camp set-up has worked for years, but is not able to fully support the growing demand of campers.
Right now, camp is waiting for the growing season when the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will be able to determine where the wetlands are located on camp property. Delineation of the wetlands is very important because new structures can not be placed in those areas.
Our Grants Committee is working diligently to procure the funding needed to get this project fully underway.
Plans have begun for Summer Camp 2017. Our schedule has been set. We are searching for Summer Camp Counselors and Volunteers. Joining Camp Fish Tales (CFT) as an employee or intern will give you the opportunity to model, mentor, and empower individuals with disabilities, helping them develop their skills and independence through community inclusion and participation. Together, we can give child and adult campers with special needs the tools they need to interact and develop skills that enhance their health, abilities, independence and quality of life.
Working at CAMP FISH TALES provides a number of unique benefits: CFT serves campers of all ages and abilities, giving staff a wide variety of job experience that will serve them well when they enter the job market. The skills and knowledge you will acquire are transferable to other employment settings, especially those in the human services professions. Working at CFT is ideal preparation for a career in special education, PT, OT, recreation therapy, psychology, social work, nursing, and medicine. We provide ongoing feedback from a direct supervisor and/or the Director of Program Services.
Internship and field wok opportunities with CFT provide experiential learning by integrating knowledge and theory learned in the classroom with practical application and skills development in a professional setting. We expose interns to the human service arena and its culture. We will also introduce you to organizational structure and conduct, best practices, and special projects as applicable to internship requirements.
Summer Camp Counselors are responsible for creating and establishing the “cabin unit.” They are responsible for helping the campers to create a summer which will last a lifetime! Counselors are responsible for the hands-on physical care of campers (feeding, clothing, etc.) and for establishing friendships with the campers. A cabin consists of no more than fifteen campers with six staff in each cabin. The camper-to-staff ratio is 1:3.
CFT seeks staff members who are a minimum of eighteen years of age. High preference is given to individuals majoring in fields related to the human services, including special education, therapy, psychology, social work and medicine. We look for mature, enthusiastic, responsible, selfless, and caring individuals. We are interested in a balance of returning staff and new staff, people experienced in working with the disabled and those seeking out the experience for the first time. CFT is an equal opportunity employer.
If you have the right stuff and want to have the summer of your life, please contact us for an application. We can be reached at 989-879-5199 or the application is available for download: