Providing Hope to Those Without
Flint Hills Foster Teen Camps (FHFTC) was established in 2009 to positively impact the lives foster teens. The camps provide teens in the Kansas foster care system a place where they are safe and can relax from the stress of their uncertain lives while experiencing activities that allow them to be kids, build trust and give them HOPE.
The founders of the camps, Mike and Lisa Irvin, and their leadership team were passionate about the impact of the camps, but concerned about the long-term stability of the program and how FHFTC would be able to secure adequate funding. Their programs needed to increase exposure and effectively communicate the key aspects of their program. Without additional funding and community support, the potential life-changing/life-saving benefits that impact the campers would be lost.
Top three challenges:
1) increased awareness
2) increased funding
3) increased support
Working alongside FHFTC, we learned just how little the world at large understands about the problems which the foster care system can create. The kids at these camps have literally been through hells, abuse and heartbreaks that most could never fathom. Actions of others have had serious impact on these youth and, without intervention, they are not always afforded the chance to learn to trust and to love again. Societally, that has devastating long-term impact as many of these youth go on to become adults which do not know how to mature and advance in society - ultimately becoming dependent on social welfare programs and trapped in a world devoid of relationships or support.
With FHFTC, we realized that people need to begin to understand the challenges these kids face while also understanding that there is an organization dedicated to lifting them out from their struggles and equipping them with the values, lessons and fellowship required to fight through their challenges.
We built a strategy based around the resounding message of hope.
Hope is what the campers were seeking. Hope is what the caseworkers want for their clients. Hope for the campers is what keeps volunteers coming back even though the stories they hear will feel impossible to bear. Hope is the message that could drive awareness and funding required to grow the program.
Branding and Visual Communication System
New logos, for both the parent organization and each of the different camps, were designed to convey a fresh, young, modern and most important, optimistic feel. Drawing on visual inspiration from the summer camp days of our youth, the goal was to incite nostalgia and memories of past summer camps which members of any audience could remember and relate to.
The design of print collateral and key messages followed suit, intentionally designed to stand out on the desks of over-worked social workers. We understood that we were ultimately competing for the attention of the social worker as they were, most often, the key decision maker involved in electing to send a camper to FHFTC.
A new website was created to be easy to use for both the user and the web editor. With limited resources, we realized the need to create a website that could be updated by the FHFTC staff. We ensured that the site was attractive, user friendly and mobile-friendly to ensure readability no matter where people were researching the camp.
A video was produced, featuring the founders and volunteer coaches. This captured the powerful stories which visibly impacted camp staff, while also leaving the viewer with a resounding message of hope. The video was shared on their website, social media and has been since used countless speaking engagements they participate in year-around. The ability to scale the emotional impact of the camps through video has been one of the most critical components of the organization’s success.