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One Year at Camp Mariposa: Indianapolis

We are celebrating ONE YEAR at Camp Mariposa-Aaron’s Place! We want to share our very special year with you – starting at the beginning.

Why we started Camp Mariposa – Indianapolis:
  • 9.2 Million Children in the US Live in a home with at least one Parent who uses illicit drugs
  • Children whose parents live with substance misuse are 4x more likely to develop the disease
  • Individuals who engage in substance misuse before age 15 are 5x more likely to develop substance use disorder/addiction as an adult

We set out to change these numbers and partnered with Eluna Network to start a year-round weekend camp program for children 9-12, free of charge. All of our camp activities were centered around building confidence, learning positive coping skills, team building, and fun. We also hosted family events outside of camp to ensure the support and growth continued within the home.


The Camp Mariposa model includes one mentor for every three campers. We have incorporated an extended mentor training that focuses more on trauma-informed care. Our hope is that it results in mentors being better providers as they go out into the workforce. 
 
In creating a therapeutic environment for the children, we also wanted to build a community for the families. Below are results gathered from a series of three mentor focus groups. This data was made possible by Victoria Wilburn, DHSc, OTR, CLT, FAOTA, Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy, School of Health & Human Sciences IUPUI & the Indiana University Racial Justice Research Fund. After one year of completion of Camp Mariposa – Indianapolis: Aaron’s place, the results show our impact: 

Mentors Report:
  • increased perceived understanding of the disease of addiction, 
  • improved perceived understanding of their own healthcare bias 
  • perceived improved competence in applying trauma-sensitive approaches to care in everyday contexts
  • application of trauma-informed skills in “real life” scenarios  
Families Report:
  • perceived feelings of belonging for their children 
  • improved trust among adults outside of the family unit
  • predictable routine for rest and rejuvenation for the caregivers. 

They also found that the attendance rate of youth campers averaged 80%, compared to the 42% average attendance rate for 5th graders in non-sport-related activities. ​Camp Mariposa – Indianapolis: Aaron’s Place is making a difference, which is why we are opening a NEW location in Bloomfield, Indianapolis. If you’d like to offer your support as we build out our plans for the new location, there are a few ways you can help:

  • Sponsor a camper – $1300 will send one child to camp for an entire year.
  • Donate an item from our Amazon Wishlist (the items can be delivered directly to us!)
  • Share this free program with families who could benefit

    We’re excited to expand our footprint and share the transformation at both locations. Stay tuned for updates on the data and results from our campers. Thank you all for your continued support!

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