For the fourth year in a row, SOS was honored to partner with St. John the Divine Episcopal Church to send low-income children to summer camp at Camp Stevens in Julian, CA. This year 20 kids were able to attend camp free of charge thanks to the sponsorship of the church congregation and a special “campership” program run by Camp Stevens.
SOS supplied the campers with everything they needed for camp, including a backpack, reusable water bottle, sunscreen, towels, flashlight, sunglasses, hats, socks, sweatshirts, paper, pens, stamped envelopes, and a $50 gift card so they could purchase any additional items they might need such as a sleeping bag or bathing suit.
At camp, the kids participated in a wide variety of activites from hiking to swimming to archery to stargazing. For many of them, this was the first time they had spent more than a night away from their parents.
“All of the other little campers were encouraging when he felt sad,” said one mom whose eight-year-old son felt homesick while away. “They were encouraging him to feel better and cheering him up. I like that a lot.” She is very grateful that her son was able to experience summer camp, as she was able to as a child with another charitable organization. Although it was challenging, she is confident he learned valuable lessons and hopes to send him back next year.
Another camper sent SOS a thank you note that said, “Camp is honestly so great. It’s been a really unique experience that has changed my life. I got to see the stars at night while camping outside and it’s something I will never forget…You hear birds sing and a sort of peace hits you. It engulfs you to a whole other world and takes you away from civilization, daily uses like electricity, technology, and stress.”read more