Oh the joys of summer and being a kid! For most children the last day of school signals the beginning of new adventures. Many head off to camp to explore the great outdoors, discover the arts, and just have lots of fun. A great camp experience can boost self-confidence, enhance emotional development, and teach valuable leadership skills, all having a positive, life-long impact on those who participate. In Middlesex County, we are fortunate to have numerous local, high-quality programs which offer a wide range of activities for kids of all ages and interests. We are also very lucky to have generous donors who believe every child, regardless of the family’s financial situation, should be able to enjoy the benefits of summer camp. With their contributions, the Community Foundation of Middlesex County provides grants to camps so that kids who want to attend camp can, even if they don’t have the means to do so. Here are two examples of the many youth programs for which financial assistance is available.
While only in its third year, Kate’s Camp for Kids has quickly established itself as a comprehensive summer arts program for ages 5-10. Located at the Katharine Hepburn Performing Arts Center (The Kate) in Old Saybrook and organized by the Community Music School of Centerbrook, the camp’s hands-on activities include music, theater, creative movement and visual arts, under the supervision of professional instructors. Kate’s campers explore their potential and their imagination by memorizing dialogue and lyrics, learning to play musical instruments, trying choreography, and even writing their own songs. There are four five-day sessions, each capped off with a performance for family and friends, providing every child the thrill of being “center stage” to demonstrate his or her newly acquired skills in a fun and nurturing setting. The Community Foundation is proud to support Kate’s Camp for Kids and shine a bright light on dozens of children and their unique talents.
Building healthy bodies, open minds and awakened spirits is the mission at hand at Camp Hazen YMCA in Chester. Each summer, a few hundred Middlesex County children make new friends, gain confidence and learn to celebrate differences – all while having fun in the great outdoors at Cedar Lake. Camp Hazen offers day programs for children in first through sixth grade, resident programs for third through tenth grade, and leadership training programs for those entering 11th grade. Many attendees receive financial assistance to cover the costs of camp – financial assistance made possible thanks to grants from funders, such as the Community Foundation of Middlesex County. The Community Foundation is delighted to provide campers opportunities to explore their interests and realize their potential through physical play and community-building activities in an environment which makes memories that last a lifetime.
At the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, our mantra is “Live Local. Play Local”. We are committed to supporting and recognizing the many community organizations that allow our children to discover new interests, make new friends, and have the time of their young lives. If you would like to know more about these and other Community Foundation of Middlesex County initiatives, please call us at 860-347-0025 or emailing us at info@MiddlesexCountyCF.org.
This article was previously published in July, 2015, in both the Valley Courier and the Harbor News.
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