Camp Grace connects dads, kids at HDSP

Inmates and kids sit in a yard surrounded by a fence with barbed wire.
Incarcerated dads at High Desert State Prison enjoy a week with their children thanks to Camp Grace.

Over the summer, High Desert State Prison (HDSP) hosted the third year of Place4Grace’s Camp Grace on Facilities A and B.

Camp Grace is a five-day program offering all-day quality time for incarcerated fathers and up to two of their children. The fathers and their children spend time creating memories they would otherwise miss if it weren’t for Place4Grace.

HDSP Camp Grace helps dads, kids make memories

The dads and kids spend time creating arts and crafts, drawing life-sized murals, and having some fun competition. In addition to those activities, they also have the opportunity to everyday activities that most of us take for granted. Activities for the fathers and their children include watching a movie, eating meals, playing games, and just being silly.

This year, there were seven fathers and 10 children who participated at the HDSP Camp Grace.

Saechao, who is currently serving 15 years, had his son present. Saechao’s son came all the way from Indiana to participate, and they had not seen each other for three years.

Poston’s two daughters came from Southern California, but he hadn’t seen them for seven years. Poston is a model prisoner and is in his sixth year of a 57-year-to-life sentence.

HDSP had three fathers returning from previous Camp Grace years:

  • Wilkerson and his daughters
  • Allee and his son
  • and Avalos and his two boys.

Though they are veterans to the camp, they were still excited and nervous. Allee, who is serving Life without Parole and remains discipline-free, regularly sees his son through family visits.

Wilkerson often donates to Place4Grace through fundraising activities, because of the positive change Place4Grace has had on his family.

Place4Grace’s mission is to restore families and advocate for children impacted by incarceration. Camp Grace is only one of the programs that the non-profit offers to families. This camp assists rehabilitation by encouraging good behavior and family connections. The program helps them realize how impactful they are to their children’s lives.

Learn more about Place4Grace.

By Dianne Morrison, HDSP staff