Eagle Rock Camp
Eagle Rock Camp is a family saving, suicide prevention organization that serves at-risk veteran and military families.
Today's highlight for #SpotlightOnCLT Great Outdoors is Eagle Rock Camp. More than helping Charlotteans get outside, they are changing the lives of military families. Read below for some incredible impact stories on how they are healing kids, teens and parents with the great outdoors.
What would you like the community to know about the challenges your organization is trying to solve?
"We believe that when the warrior serves, the entire family serves too. Multiple, long term deployments into combat zones cause stresses on the families that most of us cannot even imagine. While they are deployed, communication can be non-existent, causing their spouses to serve as the only parent. They come home with visible and invisible wounds that are often debilitating and last a lifetime. They may "look normal", while struggling with Post Traumatic Stress and traumatic brain injuries.
This can cause families to breakdown and lead to abuse, addiction, unemployment, isolation, divorce and death by suicide. The divorce rate in the military is nearing 80%. Currently a veteran's risk of death by suicide is 200% higher than their civilian counterparts.
What is your organization’s role in the community?
Using interactive workshops and therapeutic outdoor recreation at Marriage and Family retreats, we teach our veteran and military families how to heal - together. We break the cycle of what's happening at home by hosting them at a week-long healing retreat. Our aftercare includes additional training, resources and connections. Our divorce rate is just 2.7% and we have participated in averting 19 suicides, two of which are children. We give them HOPE.
We love impact stories, could you share one?
Eagle Rock Camp is a family saving, suicide prevention organization that serves our veteran and military families. We believe that when the warrior is injured, the family is also injured - therefore, they must heal together.
"They are a beautiful family who appeared to be doing well. As we worked with them individually, we could see and feel the depth of their pain. We saw fear in the eyes of their children. As more of their story unfolded, we learned that they struggled with mental, emotional and physical abuse. Dad was haunted by the demons of combat deployments, that followed him home. He was facing domestic violence charges that would have resulted in jail time, loss of his job, home and family.
We watched this family transform throughout the week. Their daughter told us she "got her dad back" and that she was afraid to go home and have the scary dad come back. Because of our aftercare program, scary dad has not come back.
When dad had a PTSd episode, working with our Chaplains and a peer to peer crisis line, mom was able to coach him through it and keep the situation calm.
We have worked with this family for over a year now, and we are so pleased to say that they are thriving.
What happened to the domestic violence charges? Our Executive Director wrote a letter to the judge outlining their progress and how they are transformed and thriving. The goal was to not be sentenced to jail time. The judge was moved enough by the letter and their progress that charges were dismissed.
The dad's testimony: "You saved my family. You saved me. Without Eagle Rock Camp, I'm not sure I would be alive today."
The children's testimony (and mom's too) is simple: we see the joy on their faces.
About the image pictured above: Sharing a joyful moment.
Contact: Lynn Marilla
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