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Children, Youth, and Family Services

Youth Development and Wellness

Lutheran Social Services of the National Capital Area (LSSNCA) knows the journey to adulthood is always complex. In 1999, in response to the nationwide crisis regarding HIV/AIDS, we introduced our first local youth-centered program. The first of its kind locally, our Youth Haven camp embraced youth and provided a safe space for them to be themselves while also empowering them with tools to navigate their lives.

Our educational programs and youth retreats have grown to include all local youth and families who seek services that support health, community connections, and success, and are held in partnership with local schools, health institutions like Georgetown, Childrens National and Johns Hopkins hospitals, and foundations.

Youth Haven Be Well Retreats

The annual three-day immersive experience provides teens and young adults (ages 7 -18) health education, a safe space to share personal challenges and concerns, and encouragement to seek the treatment or help they may need. In a fun environment participants develop leadership skills, learn healthy habits for the mind and body, and create life-long bonds. Retreats focus on topics such as: Accepting Your Diagnosis; The 411 of Medication; Triggers and Trauma; Healthy Coping Strategies and Self-Care; Disclosure Strategies.

Youth Haven Kids Camp

The first and only program of its kind at the time, Youth Haven Kids Camp launched in 1999 offering a summer camp for children living with HIV/AIDS. The camp continues to this day, offering a safe environment, peer support, and wellness training every summer for all youth (ages 7 - 18) impacted by stigma-related health conditions and those living in underserved communities seeking a fun and immersive summer experience.