I love the first day of summer camp.
And this year, I’m even more excited as we celebrate our 25th anniversary in the city of Camden.
The beginning of camp always begins the same way for me: I get in my car, drive to each of our eight camps, meet parents, watch interns adjust to their new roles nervously, listen to energetic children exhaust their lungs while singing, and watch our StreetLeader teens assume new levels of leadership. This last part is my favorite.
Take Richard and Tiana, for example–they embody the UrbanPromise vision. Richard started as a camper when he was five, became a StreetLeader at 14, and now serves as a field supervisor at age 19. ”Summers at UrbanPromise mean the world to me. I can’t stay away,” Richard told me.
Tiana, age 14, just graduated from 8th grade at our CamdenFoward School. This is her first job and first summer as a StreetLeader. “I’ve waited six years to work here,” Tiana said. “As a camp kid I couldn’t wait until I was old enough.” She’s finally made the move from camper to leader.
Our 25th summer will be special for several reasons. Each day, more than 500 children and teens will enjoy healthy, free breakfast and lunch, recreation, Bible time, arts and crafts, and trips to the swimming pool and rollerskating rink. More importantly, 100 teens and young college-aged students will learn leadership by directing camp activities and mentoring the younger children in their communities. And I will watch them grow in their faith, vision, and capacity to impact and motivate the next generation of Camden’s children to do the same.
Dr. Bruce Main
P.S. Click here to sponsor a child so they can participate in on of our FREE summer camps in the city!