Experience Camps offer roadway workers’ children 'the best week of the year'

In 2016, nearly 400 boys and girls across the country traveled to Experience Camps, breathtaking scenic properties that welcome children who have experienced the loss of a loved one in their family.

The beautiful camps not only give children a unique opportunity to share their experiences with others who have suffered a similar loss, they are also extremely fun, event-packed getaways that consistently exceed the expectations of the children who attend them.

Many come back year after year, not only as participants, but as camp counselors and volunteers. Most of them will tell you that the camps have made a positive, ever-lasting impression on their lives, including opportunities to make new, lifelong friends. The joy that these camps bring to children is incredibly illustrated in this heartwarming three-minute video.

The roadway safety industry is not immune to the loss of life, or the grief and suffering in the family that follows. Every year, nearly 600 men and women are killed in roadway work zone crashes, leaving behind dreams, memories, and unfortunately – children.

The American Traffic Safety Services Foundation (The Foundation), whose public awareness programs – like the National Work Zone Memorial – continues to provide educational scholarships to help young adults achieve their lifelong dreams.

The Foundation’s latest venture – funding the expenses for children to attend Experience Camps – is their latest effort to assist the families, especially the children, of those in the roadway safety industry.

Last year, The Foundation began offering opportunities to fund travel and expenses for children – grades four to 11 – to attend Experience Camps as a way to help these them move forward with their lives, following the loss of a parent or guardian in a work zone accident. At these camps, children soon discover that they do not have to travel the journey alone.

Children who attend Experience Camps have said, “It’s the best week of the year,” and one said, “I hope that everyone out there that needs a place like this is able to find their way here.”

Time is running out in the search for 2017 Foundation-sponsored camp attendees. The Foundation seeks help from ATSSA members and from public officials within state DOTs, to submit names for consideration. The Foundation staff will then reach out to these families to help determine which camp would best fit the individual needs of the family.

The Experience Camps are located in N.Y., Calif., Maine and Ga. Each camp offers a full one-week program of vibrant activities for attendees. All round-trip travel expenses are paid for by The Foundation.

Unfortunately, time is running out for 2017 applicants. Applications are being accepted by The Foundation through July 1. To nominate a child for one of the camps, please do not delay. Contact Lori Diaz at 540-376-3882, or email foundation@atssa.com for more information.

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