CTB has grown to nine camps in eight states – Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, California, Washington, and, new this year, New York – plus Australia. Ms. Price's hope is to one day offer camps in each of the 50 states.
Some 550,000 children live in foster care in the United States. But even if they live in the same town or go to the same school, 75 percent of these kids live separately from a sibling. CTB gives them a chance to connect and feel empowered by that sibling connection, to read a book or eat breakfast or roughhouse together – the kinds of daily interactions most families take for granted. Thus far, the organization has forged bonds among more than 3,700 brothers and sisters.
"For the first time, we were surrounded by kids who understood," Ashley says, recalling her first summer at the week-long Massachusetts camp. "We were finally all in the same place." The Figueroa kids found themselves among peers for whom foster care was not a source of shame.
"I've seen the change. They get closer and closer," says Kelley Lane, program director at CTB Massachusetts and at Sibling Connections, which helps siblings share experiences like tubing, skating, and rock climbing year-round.