LONGVILLE -- Kinship Connection participants from the Longville-Remer area gathered earlier this month for an outdoor group event on the beach at YMCA Camp Olson on Little Boy Lake.
Those attending included the adult-child mentoring participants that make up the Kinship program, as well as the kids' families.
Hot dogs and other picnic fare were grilled and served in the shade. In the sunshine, several kids tried kayaking for the first time. The whole group took part in a water balloon toss and wheelbarrow race.
Group events such as these provide an opportunity for Kinship participants to spend time together. The rest of the time, however, the Kinship adult and child partners spend time (usually a couple of hours each week) with each other doing no-cost or low-cost activities that both partners enjoy.
There are always more kids waiting for partners than there are adult mentors available.
"He waited two years for a partner," one mother said of her son's Kinship Connection experience. Mentors often agree to join the program as a way to "help a child." Once partnered, though, adult partners often find they get as much or more out of the experience as the kids do.
Anyone who is willing to spend a couple of hours each week with a child from the Longville-Remer area is encouraged to contact Kinship Connection Coordinator Gen Erickson at (218) 363-3348 or 800-478-6126.
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