Summer camp helps children who have been affected by the Erskine Fire

Elementary students participate in an arts and crafts class in Camp Noah on Monday, June 26, 2017, at South Fork Middle School in Weldon, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX photo/Suzette Reynoso)

Dozens of elementary aged children pack the cafeteria at South Fork Middle School in Weldon.

They are participating in a free summer program called “Camp Noah.” The camp is designed to help children who have been affected by natural disasters, such as the Erskine Fire.

"Kids are uniquely impacted by natural disasters and trauma,” said Camp Noah Program Manager Amanda Allen.

The five-day camp follows a structured curriculum that incorporates interactive activities such as puppet shows and encourages the kids to express how the disaster impacted their lives.

Organizers said the camp is a safe place where children can learn techniques on how to cope with loss.

“Kids can be able to not only process the disaster that they have experienced, but that they can move on from that and face challenges head on,” said Allen.

Starting over is a challenge many of these young campers face.

Eyewitness News sat down with 11-year-old Hailey Alexander, who lost her South Lake home in the wildfire. After the smoke cleared, Hailey and her family went back to see what was left of their home and it was unrecognizable.

"It was really sad,” said Hailey. “It looked like a bomb hit it and a couple houses survived, and it looked like a battlefield."

Hailey and her family have since moved to Lake Isabella, where they are starting over. She said Camp Noah is helping her make new friends with children who understand what she is going through.

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