Camp 2016 was an incredible experience! Footpath sent 42 kids from the Boys & Girls Club of Cleveland to Camp Whitewood in Amish country for 3 nights and we all had a wonderful time! These brave and excited kids got to try all sorts of new activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, canoeing, swimming in a lake, creek hikes, frisbee, gaga ball, tie-dying and s’mores making! The Footpath team, volunteers from National General Insurance, Camp Whitewood staff, Boys and Girls Club employees, and all of the kids were so inspired by the experience and we are so grateful for everyone’s support!
In addition, these kids made life long memories and created connections with new friends and camp counselors from all over the world including Australia, England, and Spain! They were guided by enthusiastic mentorship and we were in awe of the powerful connections formed in just a few days. The feedback from the kids was so encouraging. Many wanted to stay a whole week and most wanted to come back next year. We loved watching these sweet kids just be kids and they were so appreciative for this opportunity.
We also had some staff from the Boys and Girls Club stay at the camp and they pointed out how many of these kids from the city haven’t been outside a 5 mile radius of their homes and even the bus ride through the Ohio farmland was a meaningful experience for them. The staff stressed the importance of exposure to new activities for these kids who may not get out into nature on a regular basis and confirmed how camp can truly impact these kids’ lives in meaningful ways. Not only did kids learn new skills and gain confidence, but they created positive memories that can help see them through tough times.
A huge thank you to everyone who helped to make this a memorable 3 days for these kids and allowed them to experience the magic of summer camp. Huck, the program director at camp, drove home this powerful message at the closing campfire: “When times are tough, don’t let the campfire stop burning in your life.” All of the kids are now part of the Camp Whitewood family and we are hopeful we can send them back next year, along with even more inner city kids!