Camp Daybreak is one of the few summer programs in Vermont that reaches out to young Vermont children, ages 8-11, who specifically can benefit from a little extra help and support. Daybreak, which is administered by VAMH, has become a fixture after more than four decades of continuous operation. If possible, please consider making a donation to our Camp Daybreak fund.


At first glance, the CAMP DAYBREAK program seems to simply offer a wonderful, but short, summer camp experience for approximately thirty young children, all of whom are referred by elementary schools, counselors, private and state agencies. DAYBREAK provides its campers a full range of activities such as swimming, fishing, new games, hiking, arts and crafts, as well as a host of special events.

But, DAYBREAK offers much more.
Each child lives in one of three "families", which includes a "big brother or big sister," five counselors and one mental health consultant. Therefore, campers not only relate to and participate in their family units, but receive an extraordinary amount of individualized attention and care.


DAYBREAK is a project with many components.
The success of the program greatly relies on the incredible talent, energy and compassion of more than thirty teenage volunteers who serve as big brothers and big sisters to the individual campers, all of whom have special needs.

The program is also about challenging high school students with real responsibilities, real issues and real problems.
For many of these volunteers, most of whom come from Vermont high schools, DAYBREAK is a major life experience; a wonderful and at times exhilarating challenge, but it can also be exhausting, frustrating and even overwhelming. Not every volunteer is able to meet all of the demands placed on them but for most, the struggle is more than worth it.


Carolyn Ricker
continues to serve as director of DAYBREAK 2006.
Carolyn, who previously resided in Montpelier now lives in Kent, New York with her family, is an educator. She began her career as a big sister at the camp and later returned to help as waterfront director. It should be noted that she first met her husband, Jason, at DAYBREAK when they were both high school students, so this is indeed a true DAYBREAK couple! Carolyn can be reached via e-mail at


Although operating a camp program is a major financial commitment, VAMH proudly boasts that no youngster has ever been turned away because of a family's limited finances
. One very important base of support for the program is a grant from the Turrell Fund, a private foundation which has been involved with DAYBREAK for many years. Hundreds of Vermont citizens, civic clubs and social organizations also contribute to CAMP DAYBREAK. In recent years, the Department of Health (Division of Mental Health and the Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Programs), the Department of Education and the Department of Children and Family Services, have also provided grants.

Each camper's family or sponsoring agency is asked to make a "tuition payment" of $180.00 which is a small portion of the actual cost.

Many businesses, large and small, make contributions to the program. Strong partners include General Dynamics, IBM, National Life of Vermont and the IDX Corporation . Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream faithfully supplies a major "in-kind" supply of ice cream, which makes our dessert menu a camper favorite. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is another loyal participant, while other contributors include Costco's, Shaw's, Walmart and the ReStore. We are always in the market for a donation of worms since fishing is a DAYBREAK favorite.


The Association believes that besides being a program for campers and volunteer teen counselors, DAYBREAK also offers parents and family members of the campers a break, a short but important time of respite from the often demanding needs of these children. This respite care opportunity is viewed as a critically important dynamic in enhancing the entire family unit.


Given that CAMP DAYBREAK depends so heavily on volunteers, planning for the program is a year-round responsibility. It is not too early to contact the VAMH about CAMP DAYBREAK 2006. As of 2001, the CAMP DAYBREAK program has moved its "home" to the facilities of Camp Thorpe in Goshen, deep in the Vermont mountains.


Click on the name of the application below to download forms in PDF format. You will need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your system, in order to view these files.



To inquire further about CAMP DAYBREAK 2006, simply fill out and submit the form below or call us at (802) 223-6263. E-mail messages can be received at (VAMH) or (Carolyn Ricker).




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©2002 Vermont Association for Mental Health