Camp helps children whose parents are in jail - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Camp helps children whose parents are in jail

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

In news, we talk a lot about people being sent to jail, but rarely do we talk about the families who are left behind.

Two young Waterloo men are now sharing their stories of growing up without their parents. 

Both Adaris Washington and Jojo Frost lost their fathers to the system at a young age.

But through Hope Camp, a program focused on helping kids with incarcerated parents, Adaris and Jojo met someone they could look up to.

Reverend Chuck Lane of Waterloo's Trinity Episcopal Parish, couldn't be prouder to see the young men, two of his first campers, have grown into.

"They are just like a kid to me; my family," said Reverend Lane.

Both young men graduated this spring and are set to head to college in the fall.

The ceremonies bringing back a decade of memories and pulling at the heart strings.

"Those two wouldn't be; the camp wouldn't be there if it wasn't for those two," said Reverend Lane.

Every year since they were eight, Adaris and Jojo have attended the summer camp, riding horses, swimming, and creating bonds. 

"He is like a second father," said Adaris Washington.

"I am honestly just blessed to know this guy. He stepped up and helped us all out; got Hope Camp started with my aunt. It has really helped me and him [Adaris] progress, I would say, as two individuals," said Jojo Frost.

Hope Camp is not just an escape but also a place for kids to work through an unimaginable situation.

"Children with one or two parents incarcerated or in county jail, it is hard because they are going through [life] without their parents. First of all, they aren't there to see them home every night and off to school. Secondly, a lot of people judge on that, that your parents are in prison, that something is wrong. There is nothing wrong with these kids," said Reverend Lane.

Thankful for everything Reverend Lane and Hope Camp have helped them through, Adaris and Jojo come back as counselors every summer to help other children.

This fall, Adaris is headed to Iowa State to major in music engineering and Jojo is headed to Iowa to run track and study marketing.

The 2017 Hope Camp is currently underway with more than 40 campers.

If you would like to get involved visit http://www.cedarvalleyhopecamp.com/.

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