Category Archives: Camp AmeriKids

For it is in giving that we receive

That’s some wisdom from Saint Francis of Assisi.

Stained glass window in the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi

If holiday giving is your thing, and you support organizations that benefit kids’ learning, development, expression, and self-worth, you’ve come to the right blog.

We must not stint on our investment in our children. They are our hope and our future, and give us so much joy in the present! Last year I wrote a couple of posts about some organizations that support children and teens in profound ways. They are still my top picks, so I’ll refer you to those posts.

Most people who are acquainted with me personally know that I am a summer volunteer and member of the amazing, transformative Camp AmeriKids community. Camp’s mission is “to enhance the lives of youth living with the challenges of HIV/AIDS and sickle cell disease by providing an enriching summer camp experience, year-round skill building and a supported transition to adulthood.” Here’s what I wrote about camp last year. This year a new year-round mentoring program has been added. I cannot say enough about the wonderful ways this organization changes the lives of everyone it touches! Find out more at www.campamerikids.org.

Other orgs I listed last year: donorschoose.org, Project Rhythm, 826 Valencia, and Girls Write Now. Please check them out here. They all continue to do fantastic work promoting children’s literacy and artistic expression (which are so intertwined) and changing lives.

May you give, and may you receive. Happy holidays!

The other new year

The mission of Camp AmeriKids: to enhance the lives of youth living with the challenges of HIV/AIDS and sickle cell disease by providing an enriching summer camp experience, year-round skill building and a supported transition to adulthood. To those of us who are part of the camp community, camp is family. An all-inclusive family. We all, camper and staff alike, feel that camp has changed our lives.

I wrote this after my first summer as part of the Camp AmeriKids program staff as an arts & crafts counselor. I know, I know, very long-winded! I guess I just can’t say enough about camp. If you found the time to read it, I’d be grateful. Maybe you can find something in it that resonates with you, too.

At Camp AmeriKids, the new year has a particular meaning to the camp community. Steve Kidd, our program director, explains:

Camp welcomes donations! Camp welcomes volunteers! Please check us out. And have a healthy and happy new year.

 

Camp holiday party

Today was the Camp AmeriKids annual holiday party and sadly, I missed it due to the big snow. I had put together some plain white cards, a box of envelopes, and a bunch of markers for holiday card making at the arts & crafts table. Emma, my co-a&c counselor, contributed beads and other supplies, and judging by this picture that a camp buddy sent me, a good time was had by all the a&c lovers!

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It’s always the case that there are a load of kids who love arts & crafts, no matter what else is going on at an event. Even when there are lots big happenings, like magicians and jugglers, or swimming and horse rides, there are always some kids who gravitate to the arts & crafts activity. Certain events call for more elaborate projects, but at a party I’ve found it’s best to keep it simple. Any kind of frame to contain work usually makes it easy for kids to jump in and make something. For last year’s party, I brought small white cards, metallic cards for backing, markers, jewels, stickers, and photo squares for mounting, and the kids had fun making tree decorations. Even when there are lots big happenings, like magicians and jugglers, or swimming and horse rides, there are always some kids who gravitate to the arts & crafts activity. Certain events call for more elaborate projects, but at a party I’ve found it’s best to keep it simple. Any kind of frame to contain work usually makes it easy for kids to jump in and make something. For last year’s party, I brought small white cards, metallic cards for backing, markers, jewels, stickers, and photo squares for mounting, and the kids had fun making tree decorations.

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