This past summer, we had a robust summer camp for kids who live at The Gardens and Hidden Brook! This camp was designed to provide continued academics through the summer, healthy physical activity, team-building activities for social and emotional growth and a chance for our kids to experience things they might never have a chance to do without our leadership.
The program team at the Gardens developed a five-week summer camp for youth. The Gardens Summer Camp consisted of an Academic, Athletic/Outdoor Play Field Trip and Service Learning component. As the school year came to an end, our students were faced with an extended period of time in which their academic improvement was not the main priority. Our staff was dedicated to ensuring that campers got prepared for the next school year. Activities such as “The Gardens Math Olympics,” offered our students mathematical practice in addition to a fun and friendly environment.
The Gardens program staff took the campers on several field trips, all aimed at providing our kids with a variety of experiences. For example, one of our field trips was taking the campers to a professional climbing gym. With regards to Service Learning, we want to instill in students the idea of caring for the community. Our campers gave back to the Park Hill Community that has given so much to them. On June 23rd, the students set up and ran our food distribution. The students were responsible for outreach to the community as well as the actual running of the event.
The summer camp program was a fortunate recipient of the generosity of Agape Christian Church to get hot lunches for kids each day of the camp. Inner City School was also generous in allowing Hope to use their large van, which allowed us to go to different locations around the city safely. The second week of summer camp, we went to the Denver Museum of Nature & Science, which the kids enjoyed immensely. They were able to watch a presentation on the Mars Rover, and what life might be like on the Red Planet. They were also able to be mini scientists at the Exhibition Health Exhibit and learn about the human body. The day was finished “exploring” outer space at the Planetarium!
The youth summer camp is just one (very important) reason Hope Communities needs a van. A 15-passenger van would help to continue providing greater access to opportunity for our kids, but it would also be incredibly helpful for staff and volunteers to transport vital goods for our food distribution programs and would allow for periodic, but transformational trips across the city for families. Do you know of a person or business that could donate a van to Hope Communities? A gift like that could make a lasting impact! Please contact Jessica McFadden if you have information: firstname.lastname@example.org.