1009 Main Street
c/o First Congregational Church Branford
Camp Totokett is a weeklong non-disclosure summer camp for children affected by HIV/AIDS. In
2017, the program expanded to include children from recently resettled refugee families.
Staffed entirely by volunteers, Camp Totokett provides a nurturing and supportive environment
that offers children much-needed respite from often challenging home lives with fun, games,
arts and crafts, swimming, fishing, and a variety of stimulating programs. Children ages 5-12 are
paired one-on-one with teenage counselors with whom they develop meaningful friendships.
Camp Totokett was founded in 1996 by members of The First Congregational Church of
Branford and it has been hosted annually with the help of many of the same volunteers for the
past 23 years. Each year, camp is held at Killam’s Point, the church’s waterfront property in
Branford, CT. The beautiful grounds offer ample trails, beaches, and in and of itself, the Point
provides an all-around therapeutic environment for all who visit.
Approximately 50 5-12 year-olds referred from local social service agencies in New Haven
attend camp each year. Campers are partnered with 50 high school mentors, and supported by
nearly 40 adult staff.
The camp program offers support, stability, and fun to children coping with the multiplicity of
issues associated with HIV/AIDS, such as the loss of a loved one. Though each camper’s
situation and their connection to the disease is different, nearly all face some combination of
the same complex and interwoven issues: poverty, housing insecurity, domestic violence,
parental substance abuse, and in general, exposure to trauma. In spite of these challenging
factors, the camp environment allows each child to feel special and its programming fosters
confidence, optimism, and friendship.