In 1985, an assistant pastor named Wayne Tesch and his wife, Diane, saw a need to provide hope to local foster children in Costa Mesa, California. They created a week-long summer camp for foster children ages 6-12.
After the first five years of hosting camps through their church, the Tesch’s realised the need was bigger than just Costa Mesa. So in 1990, Wayne left his position at the church to form and become CEO of the new charity, Royal Family KIDS Camp, Inc.
From 1990-2008, the organisation grew steadily, serving more children each year and equipping more leaders from churches to serve children in care. Royal Family KIDS refined its training program and franchised its model so that its ultimate mission – to serve every child in care ages 6-12 – would be possible.
In 2008 the organisation expanded to include a school year mentoring program called, "Royal Friends Club," headed by Joanne Feldmeth, the former executive director for Child SHARE, a non-profit leader in the U.S for recruiting foster parents.
Today, over 100,000 children have attended the camps since 1985, with 275 clubs and mentoring programs around the world. Countries currently hosting camps and mentoring programs are the U.S., Australia, Chile, South Africa, Ghana, Poland, Namibia, and the United Kingdom (Wales).
In 2015, Bryan and Misty Elliott brought the Royal Family KIDS model to Cardiff, Wales. In 2018, after three consecutive successful camps, RFK was launched as a national charity under the new name, Starfish Alliance. The camps, now called Starfish KIDS Camps, continue to adhere to the Royal Family KIDS model, mission values and vision.