The focal point of the Education and Outreach department at Safe Berks is prevention. Primary prevention focuses on giving children the tools and skills needed to prevent domestic abuse and sexual assault. Safe Berks strives to do this by offering many programs specific to school and community organizations.
One of the biggest efforts in prevention education at Safe Berks is their summer camp. Camp Safe Berks will be held at Albright College July 15 to 19, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., with extended hours until 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Camp Safe Berks is a free, week-long summer camp that brings local youth and adults together to form alliances of support that promote peace and justice in our schools and communities.
Bringing together teens ages 13 to 17, from different school districts, Camp Safe Berks provides a safe space to unite teens who may not have had an opportunity like this before. Camp Safe Berks begins the process of developing youth as leaders in oppression-based work. Each day focuses on an oppression and the goal of justice; Youth Justice Day, Racial Justice Day, Gender Justice Day, LGBQ+ Justice Day, and Launch Day.
Throughout the week, campers gain a deeper understanding of the role oppression plays as a root cause of violence in our society. They engage in honest discussions and group activities that build over the week. These activities are designed to further cultivate their ability to build empathy and acceptance of the differences in others.
In addition, campers learn and develop the skills to see, understand and address social injustice. They build strategies to be promoters of peace and justice in their schools and communities. Camp Safe Berks is designed to ignite a passion within youth participants, not only for their own personal growth, development and improved well-being, but also to become champions for social justice change throughout their community.
“If we don’t invest in prevention, we are agreeing to allow issues of interpersonal violence to continue to flourish in the next generation,” said Tumbleson. “I want to increase the number of teens that attend Camp Safe Berks and are exposed to the topics of social and racial justice. I want to help motivate them to become agents of change in their own communities.”
Camp Safe Berks doesn’t end at the end of the week. Safe Berks hosts monthly meet-ups for campers. Meet-ups have included screenings of poignant movies such as “Love, Simon and The Hate U Give,” followed by important discussions. We discuss the social justice issues the campers encounter at school and much more.
To learn more about Camp Safe Berks, or to apply to attend camp or help as a volunteer, visit www.SafeBerks.org, click on Events, or contact Lisa Tumbleson, Director of Education and Outreach, at 610-370-7811 or LisaT@SafeBerks.org.
Also, Safe Berks services include a Safe House for adults and children who are in danger, a 24-hour Hotline, individual and group counseling, and legal services and advocacy. Safe Berks services are free, confidential, and provided 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Services are available in English and Spanish and will be translated into any other language needed.
Safe Berks served more than 4,000 clients in the last fiscal year. The Safe House provided a haven to approximately 400 adults and 400 children in the last fiscal year. The 24-Hour Hotline number is 844-789-SAFE, or text Safe Berks to 20121.