It’s summer!! Camp is now in session, and all along the shoreline, children are trying different things, making new friends, staying healthy, gaining independence, and most of all, just having fun. A great camp experience can have a positive and life-long impact on those who participate. We are fortunate to have so many diverse and high-quality, local programs offering excitement and enrichment for all ages and interests – the outdoors, the arts, history, science, sports and more. We are also very grateful for the many community members who understand the true value of a summer camp experience and, working through the Community Foundation, are passionate about helping every child have the opportunity, regardless of a family’s ability to pay or other challenges.
One donor in particular, who prefers to remain anonymous, established a donor-advised fund at CFMC, and through that Fund, she is helping make the dream of camp a reality. Having children of her own who experienced a broad range of activities and made life-long friends at summer camp, she knows just how valuable camp can be for a child. Understanding that not all children have the same opportunities, she decided that she could help make a difference in a child’s life by making one full session at an area camp available. This summer her generous ways will support local children through camperships at Camp Hazen YMCA in Chester; Bushy Hill/Incarnation Camp in Ivoryton; Connecticut River Museum Summer Programs in Essex; and Camp Mohawk YMCA in Litchfield.
She is not alone, though. Because of the many wonderful donors who established funds for CFMC’s competitive grant process, three area camps received grant awards to support camperships for our neediest children. 2016 competitive grants were awarded to the Katharine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center to support multi-discipline arts education at Kate’s Camp for Kids. The camp takes place at The KATE and is in partnership with the Community Music School. Grants were also provided to Bushy Hill Nature Center to fund “camperships” for 10 children identified either as at-risk or from underserved areas of Middlesex County to attend Bushy Hill Day Camp; and to Camp Hazen YMCA to provide financial assistance to Middlesex County youth who could not otherwise afford to attend camp. Just imagine the new friends, incredible experiences, and exciting memories which will be forever in the hearts and minds of children in our area because so many people cared enough to provide them an opportunity to attend camp.
The size of the contribution or support may vary from one donor to another, from one grant to the next, but the enormity of the life-long benefit is unmistakable. Through passion, commitment and partnerships, we are preparing our young people for bigger and brighter lives down the road while giving them the time of their lives this summer. We tip our hats to all the many, many good people making great things possible for the youth in our communities, and we invite you to learn more about how you make a difference in your community. Call us at the Community Foundation of Middlesex County, 860-347-0025 or visit us here online.
Previously printed in the July issues of The Valley Courier and The Harbor News.
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