We cast a vision for growth at Camptown in 2022. We’re thrilled to share that we’ve nearly doubled our staff size and our budget, which has allowed us to:
- Serve over 4,000 youth – surpassing our highest mark ever by over 20%
- Spend 25% more time, on average, with each participant
This means more kids are growing in leadership, teamwork, confidence and respect.
It has been a great year at Camptown, and we are thankful. Yet- we are only scratching the surface of how we can be helpful to youth in our community with the challenges they face. Loneliness. Anxiety. Poverty. And much more.
In some of our environmental education programs, we teach kids about indicator species, which are vulnerable organisms that tell us the health of their environment. Take, for instance, the Mayfly, which lives along streams. If Mayflies aren’t present, the water quality is likely poor.
While we were teaching this concept in a creek stomp, it got me thinking – what are the indicator species of our communities? Could it be much of the populations Camptown serves – such as youth with disabilities through our Trailblazers program, or youth who are involved in the juvenile justice system? How are they doing? What if those answers make us uncomfortable?
It makes me think of one particular high schooler I’ve had the privilege to mentor this year. We’ll call him Jermaine. After showing strong leadership in spring programs, we hired Jermaine as a summer facilitator for day camp. He also joined us on Father’s Day weekend as we hosted 26 boys without fathers at Mammoth Cave National Park.
Jermaine was a leader by example and by giving instruction to the younger boys as we set up tents together, cooked over a fire and even explored the dark. As we debriefed during the drive back to Camptown, he opened up about his reality growing up without a father. Jermaine expressed gratitude that Camptown had given him a place to belong, and people to look up to. It strikes me that Jermaine could be like a mayfly – a critical, yet vulnerable link in an ecosystem. With proper conditions and support, he too can thrive. Which is why we’re asking for your help. Camptown’s growth is only possible because of your support. Will you join us by investing financially as we build leaders in our community?