8:30 am – Children in Mt. Vernon begin arriving at Sts John, Paul and Clement Church for Summer Vacation School. They are greeted by counselors (most of whom used to attend the camp themselves) and sit down to a hearty, nutritious breakfast to get them ready for the day’s activities.
9:00 am – Rackets in hand, children at the Grace Church Community Center Summer Camp head out to the courts for a morning of tennis lessons with the head coach from a nearby college in White Plains. Many of these children are homeless, and the camp provides a safe place for them to learn and have fun during the day.
10:45 am – After an energetic warm-up, young acrobats in the Amazing Grace Circus! Big Top Summer Camp in Nyack learn Trapeze and Spanish Web from experienced instructors, developing creativity, strength and poise.
12:00 pm — It’s time for lunch at St. Edmund’s Summer Camp in the Bronx. Today, a visiting educator from Cornell Cooperative Extension speaks to the children about healthy eating and helps them make a salad with lots of nutritious, filling ingredients in the church kitchen. They’ll be eating that salad for lunch!
1:00 pm – Teenagers at the San Andres Peace and Justice Program in Yonkers discuss the Civil Rights movement and their own experiences of discrimination. Then, they collaborate on an art project promoting peace in their community.
2:30 pm — Today’s theme at St. Ann’s Freedom School in the Bronx, is “I can make a difference in my community.” During the afternoon, students take part in guided lessons based on this topic, developing leadership skills and academic excellence at a critical time in their lives.
3:45 pm — After a day of exploration and education at the Vassar Community Farm Project, children at the Christ Church Summer Camp in Poughkeepsie pile into a van and head back to Christ Church. Field trips like this provide opportunities to learn from outside educators, experience new sights and bond with fellow campers.
6:00 pm — Parents from Harlem, Washington Heights and the Bronx arrive to pick up their children from after care at the Holyrood Summer Camp. Extended day is an important feature that many camps offer in order to allow for working parents to have time to pick up their kids.
9:30 pm – It’s “lights out” time at Incarnation Camp in Ivortyon, CT. Campers settle in to their bunks inside platform tents after a thrilling day of hiking, canoeing and cooking over a campfire. For some of them, this is a rare opportunity to travel outside New York City and experience nature.
So, there you have it! Exciting, enriching summer programs are active all over the Diocese of New York, reaching out to young people who might not otherwise be able to afford a summer camp. Episcopal Charities helps to make that possible and you can too.