Friday, April 12, 2013
NEW WILMINGTON, Pa. - "CAMP", a movie inspired by the heartbreaking stories of foster children, was playing in limited release Saturday, April 13, at the Westgate Cinema 9 in New Castle. The producer of the movie attended the 4:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. showing, as well as nearly 100 Westminster College students, alumni, faculty and staff.
"The movie is based on the experience of campers and counselors at Royal Family Kids (RFCK) Camps, including the camp held locally here in New Castle," said writer/director Jacob Roebuck.
Royal Family Kids, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit, is the nation's leading network of camps for abused, neglected and abandoned children. By mobilizing local churches to sponsor a one week camp for abused and neglected children, ages 7-11 in their local community, the organization gets caring adults involved in the lives of children who need them most. Each camp has two very simple goals: make positive childhood memories for the kids and let them experience unconditional love from an adult.
This upcoming summer will be the 8th annual Royal Family Kids' Camp of Lawrence County. Originally launched by First Assembly of God, the camp has since become a non-profit, incorporating the support of many local churches and community businesses, which make up the core support and staffing for the camp. The last several years, 50-55 kids from Lawrence County have attended the camp. This past summer 17 members of the Westminster community volunteered for RFCK at Camp Kon-O-Kwee/Spencer in Fombell.
"The children leave a lasting impression on you," said camp counselor and Westminster alumna Kayla Rosati Gregorich '10. "The happiness you share with them all week is unforgettable and so is the sadness you share at the end of the week. You hope that the seed you planted in them grows and they never forget the love you showed them."
"This is my fourth year as a counselor at Royal Family Kids Camp and it has been a life changing experience for me. I've been blessed to have the same campers every year and have formed an indescribable bond with them," student Nicole Jodikinos said. "One of my campers was being abused with water prior to camp, but because of the caring and trusting environment at camp, she was able to overcome these fears and go swimming."
Jodikinos said, "The movie provides an insight into the week of camp and some of the heart wrenching stories of the kids that go there. "CAMP" shows how just one week in a safe, loving environment can leave a lasting impact on a child. After seeing the movie, it makes you want to get involved and help these innocent children."
Jodikinos, a senior accounting major, is a daughter of Norman and Diana Jodikinos of Clinton and a graduate of Hopewell High School.
"When I volunteered at a camp just like the one in New Castle, I saw the huge need for people to step up and love these abused and neglected children," Roebuck said. "There is no other medium like a movie that can entertain and encourage people to become engaged."
Besides encouraging people to volunteer to serve at a camp for abused and neglected children, "CAMP" will also raise money for the New Castle camp during its one-week run at Westgate Cinema 9. Forty percent of the producer's proceeds will be donated to help finance the Royal Family Kids Camp run by local camp director Beth Pears.
"Watching "CAMP" gave a bird's eye view of some of the tough situations that so many of our local children endure," said Pears. "The movie is not only entertaining, but also it sends a message of hope that we all are able to do our part to make a difference in the lives of hurting kids in our community. Anyone who has a heart will want to become involved after seeing this movie!"
In addition to playing at Westgate Cinema 9, the film was shown in 14 additional cities in Nebraska, Kansas, Indiana, Texas, California and Colorado on April 12 and had already opened in 30 cities. The movie is scheduled to play in around 100 theaters during its limited release run this spring.