Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2023, $650,000)
Eluna provides targeted mentoring services to youth ages 9 -17 at high risk for using opioids and becoming involved in the juvenile justice system. All youth have a family member with a substance use disorder (SUD) and are at high-risk for developing a SUD of their own. Camp Mariposa® utilizes a group mentoring model to serve youth in both rural and urban locations. Camp Mariposa will prevent and reduce delinquency by delaying onset of the first use of drugs and alcohol; preventing or reducing involvement in the juvenile justice system; connecting program participants with trained adult mentors; creating a positive peer support network for program participants; and providing opportunities for youth and families to participate in positive social activities. The primary vehicle for the group mentoring will be free weekend camps offered six times a year for youth ages 9-12 and six additional camps for teens ages 13-17. These weekends offer traditional camp activities enhanced with evidence-based prevention curricula and activities that focus on boosting protective factors. Additional activities will be held for youth participants, their families, and the adult mentors in the months between camp weekends. A portion of the funding will be used to support existing Camp Mariposa locations in Dayton, Ohio and Nashua, New Hampshire. In addition, Eluna will expand the Camp Mariposa network to include a new location in Baltimore, MD. Eluna will partner with East End Community Services (Dayton) and the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Nashua (Nashua). Eluna will partner with a subawardee in Baltimore that has experience serving the Black community which has been heavily impacted by the opioid epidemic. Eluna will partner with substance use providers in each community to provide opioid prevention education sessions at camp weekends as well as trainings to all mentors and guardians on the signs of opioid abuse. In addition, Eluna will add mental health trainings to the camp weekends. It is expected that 415 youth will be served through this grant. Three hundred fifty (350) of these youth will attend the camp weekends and be matched with trained adult mentors in a group setting. The remaining 75 youth served will be the younger family members who attend the additional family activities. It is expected that 145 trained adult mentors will support these youth at the camp weekends as well as activities in between camp weekends.