My daughter, Sienna H-R, age 10 became a first time "bunker" at Belvoir Terrace two summers ago, a few days after her 9th birthday. As a single mother who had never been separated from my daughter for more than a week at a time, the idea of letting her live for seven consecutive weeks without me was stressful to say the least. But two years after our initial trepidatious farewell, I am so glad that I let her.
Belvoir Terrace provided Sienna with a safe, encouraging platform from which she was empowered to explore her gifts and express them in exciting and creative ways. Given that so many young women in their early adolescent lives strive to be "just like everyone else" and as inconspicuous as possible, this was an invaluable gift.
In the seven weeks that comprised Sienna's first bunker experience, she learned some of the basic principles of time management, discovered and embraced her talent in both the dramatic and fine arts, and began to see and express her potential as a self-directed leader. Further, she developed a new confidence in herself, made some great new friends, and attained what I am sure will be a life-long appreciation of the Arts.
Belvoir Terrace is, in my opinion, more than a camp experience; it is a transformative opportunity. My daughter left for camp that initial summer a cautious and somewhat insecure little girl and returned a profoundly matured and expressive young woman.
As a parent who has witnessed the growth that Belvoir facilitates and a recipient of scholarship funding which makes the participation in this experience possible, I have a desire to see this opportunity shared with as many young women and their respective families as possible. From my perspective, reaching a diverse spectrum of young women in this era of their lives has positive repercussions for them, their families, and society at large.
Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to express my heartfelt support for an organization which has had such a positive impact on my daughter's life.
(mother of Sienna)