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Camp Noah 2 more light-hearted

Photo by Rachelle Klemme Kathy Harrison brings in T Bear the therapy dog for kids to hug at Camp Noah 2.

Camp Noah has existed since the 1997 Grand Forks flood as a resource for natural disaster recovery for kids, but Camp Noah 2 has only been around since Tuesday, Dec. 13 in Wadena.

Christie Meier, associate in ministry at Immanuel Lutheran Church, said the parent organization Lutheran Social Services was curious about how it would go, but they were snowed in due to the blizzard from the previous weekend.

The idea came from the children and parents, Meier said.

Forty area kids were in attendance. Of those, 37 were returning from the original Camp Noah, and three were newcomers.

Taylor Swaisgood, a fourth-grader, said she went to the first Camp Noah and that she liked being with friends.

Twelve adult mentors volunteered for the evening.

WDC high school student Hailey Formo was volunteering for the second time and said she was intrigued by how the kids acted the first time and wasn't sure what to anticipate for the evening.

"I go to Christie's church. I heard about it from a fellow student the first time. She said she had a lot of fun with it, and I like kids, so I wanted to get involved with it," Formo said.

After opening with pizza and a Christmas story, the kids split into small groups by grade level and reviewed the curriculum from the initial week-long program.

Meier said the theme of dealing with fear was especially relevant with summer tornado warnings and fall power blackouts and snowstorms which have followed the June 17 EF4.

Kathy Harrison was back with T Bear the therapy dog.

Meier said that at the beginning of the first Camp Noah, the gathering was quieter. On this follow-up, the kids were more light-hearted.

"This is a common bond that they all share," she said.