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CAMP ERUTAN is an idea that Lisa Tanzman and Elaine Mermelstein turned into reality beginning in 1987. The idea was to reunite siblings from inner cities who had been separated by the foster care system. We reunite these kids, however briefly, in a camp set in nature where they are offered activities and programs to help heal and mend. CAMP ERUTAN started with one campsite on land owned by a supporter. On this site, the first group of kids were introduced to nature and the philosophy of CAMP ERUTAN: Awareness, Balance and Choice. Today, CAMP ERUTAN operates several sessions of camp around the country and serves at risk children from inner cities. Camp is free of charge and run by a staff of volunteers.




CAMP ERUTAN gives foster children an outdoor experience in a safe and nurturing environment built around a mix of therapeutic play, natural history education, and expressive arts. The mission of CAMP ERUTAN was, and still is, to reunite siblings separated by the foster care system in a natural setting emphasizing expression and personal choices. After more than 30 years, CAMP ERUTAN is poised to embark on an exciting growth phase. Please see the Erutan Communities page on this site.


'you make the difference' award


CAMP ERUTAN was awarded the “You Make the Difference” Award by Safe Horizons, one of its partner organizations in New York. Of CAMP ERUTAN, Kimmi Herring of Safe Horizons has said, “The program's mission of teaching its ABC's parallels Safe Horizon's mission to ‘provide support, prevent violence, and promote justice for victims' of crime and abuse’… CAMP ERUTAN helped our children face adversity, overcome obstacles, and emerge stronger than before. The lessons learned and the experience will have a positive impact on the participants for the rest of their lives.” Some of the other organizations who have referred campers to us include the L.A. Department of Child and Family Services, CASA volunteers, foster family agencies, group homes, social workers, foster parents and Friends of CAMP ERUTAN. Become a friend today.

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