While camp is considered by most to be a fun time with many outdoor activities, the camp experience also provides a wealth of opportunities for children to grow – socially, emotionally, intellectually, and physically. Peter Scales from The Search Institute lists problem-solving, making social adjustments, responsibility, and improving self-esteem as some of the benefits of a camp experience. This past summer The Gerber Foundation supported camp scholarships at 9 local camps for youth from Lake, Newaygo, Oceana, and Muskegon Counties.
Camp scholarships included grant support to Camp Newaygo, Camp Pendalouan, Rose Lake Youth Camp and Camp Henry for general summer and day camp activities as well as some specific targeted camps. A grant to Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp fosters an appreciation for the Arts among attending youth. Grants to Harbor Hospice (Camp Courage) and Hospice of Michigan (Camp Good Grief) provided opportunities for children dealing with a loss to participate in activities to bolster their ability to cope with that loss.
A grant to Samaritas provided scholarships for youth in foster care to experience a safe and encouraging camp environment while allowing them time to ‘just be a kid’. This camp also works to bring together siblings who may be in different foster homes so that they can spend quality time together.
While all camps include sports and crafts in their schedule, the campers also benefit from team building, science, math, confidence building, and leadership skills. The Gerber Foundation is proud to partner with all of these camps to improve the lives of children in our community.
The Gerber Foundation’s next deadline for youth related programs in West Michigan is March 15, 2019. Grant applications may be completed online at https://gerberfoundation.smartsimple.com. This application is currently open.