National Mental Health Service Provider

Warrior Kids Camp

OUTLINE

CAMP THEME: BE YOUR OWN SUPERHERO!

AGE RANGE:  8-11yrs:  Galaxy Defenders / 12-16yrs: Global Guardians

KEY THEMES: 

THEME ONE: The Superpower of Knowledge-Learning about Operational Stress Injuries (OSI)

THEME TWO: Peers Empowering Peers( Field Trip to Dream Catchers Ranch-Animal-Assisted Therapy)

THEME THREE: Combating Difficult Feelings

ABOUT THE CAMP

There is increased awareness of the secondary impact trauma has on children, especially those with a parent diagnosed with Operational Stress Injuries (such as PTSD) from service related experiences. While several treatment programs have been designed for caregivers, limited programs exist that support children/youth through the stressors connected to parental Operational Stress Injuries.

There is strong evidence suggesting that programs offering resilience based strategies can be an important protective factor for children living with a parent who has a mental health injury or injuries.

The WWC Warrior Kids program’s clinical framework pulls from resilience theory, trauma-informed practices, and child-centred play therapy and is designed to capture effective evaluation measures.

Ultimately, our goal is for kids to build positive relationships with peers, gain knowledge of the injury, and develop new coping skills that will help them grow and thrive. 

CLINICAL BACKGROUND

Resilience Theory

To nurture resilience in young people, the key ingredients include strengthening social connections, supporting individual talents to build self-esteem, and creating supportive resources that children and families can draw upon during stressful times. This program has a philosophy that believes all children and youth have the ability to overcome adversity, when provided with opportunities and tools for success.

Program Goals

The Warriors Kids program is grounded in the understanding and responsiveness to the impact of trauma and emphasizes physical, psychological, and emotional safety for both providers and survivors.

We aim to empower children to increase their capacity for developing resilience. 

Specific objectives are:

  • a) to support development of healthy peer connections
  • b) normalize their experiences around a parental mental health injury
  • c) provide developmentally appropriate education on OSI’s
  • d) offer a variety of evidence informed play-based activities that kids can learn effective ways to regulate emotions to effectively cope with stress and increase their self-esteem. 

All three parts of the Warrior Kids Program (intake, camp, follow-up) will incorporate core trauma-informed principles within its processes and practices.

OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS

Evaluation

a) attaining knowledge of Operational Stress Injuries (OSI)
b) development of positive peer relationships
c) increased coping skills and ability to regulate emotions
d) increased self-esteem. .

Ultimately, our goal is for kids to build positive relationships with peers, gain knowledge of the injury, and develop new coping skills that will help them grow and thrive. 

WARRIOR KIDS CLINICAL TEAM

Clinically facilitated group therapy has become the distinguishing factor for Wounded Warriors Canada and will guide the charity into the future.

Helena Hawryluk is a Registered Social Worker and co-founder of Families First: Support for Occupational Stress Inc. For over a decade, she has worked as a social worker with military and Veteran families who have been impacted by Operational Stress Injuries. Helena completed her undergraduate degree in Psychology at Concordia University and a Bachelor of Social Work from University of Calgary. She was also awarded theWounded Warriors Canada Doctoral Scholarship.

Jerris Popik started her professional journey in Alberta as a frontline crisis worker. Her passion for connecting and supporting children and families impacted by trauma was fostered over the past eight years working with the Military Family Resource Centre offering trauma informed play-based counselling and programming for military and veteran children and youth. She is also a graduate student in the Masters of Social Work program with the University of Calgary.

 

WARRIOR KIDS REGISTRATION