Movie showcases summer camps for foster children

Posted at 10:19 PM, Apr 21, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY - A new movie tells the story of a group of Utah volunteers who give foster children a chance to go to camp.

Eric Walleson, mentoring director for "Camp," says that the movie is based off the Royal Family KIDS camps where kids who are in the foster program get a free week of camp.

"There are 180-plus around the country and we take kids who are in the foster program who have been neglected and abused and give them a week of camp," Walleson said.

One of those camps is here in Utah. Nearly 100 adult volunteers - no paid staff - spend a week with between 40 and 50 foster children, ages 7 to 11.

"They've lost so much and they need to be strong and get through it and have a positive attitude that life has a plan for them and it's good," Walleson said. "We like to think we give them a purpose. We know we can't fix them in a week, but we can give them a much brighter outlook."

The camp, which takes place in the first week of August every year, is like a typical camp where kids get to sing, fish, eat and have fun.

"To most of us, birthday parties have been a part of their lives since we were one but these kids have missed a few. It's a part of the camp that everyone enjoys and has a good time and they get pooped," Walleson said.

Local churches sponsor the Royal Family KIDS camp and kids hear faith-based messages geared toward the challenges they face.

Here in Utah, they're always looking for volunteers to help out at Camp Kostopolous in Emigration Canyon.

For more information on Camp Kostopolous, visit For more information about the Royal Family KIDS, visit

"Camp" is now playing in a special engagement at the Jordan Commons Megaplex.