Kars4Kids supports two branches of a summer camp, TheZone, run by its affiliate charity, Oorah. At that point, another organization might close the wallet and say, “We’ve done enough to help kids get the summer camp experience.”
But actually, Kars4Kids supports several other summer camps by way of its small grant program. We’ve helped SCOPE, TADA!, the Wildflower Camp Foundation, and Science Camps of America, among other worthy organizations either running camp programs or camp scholarship programs. We give small grants to these camps and camp scholarship programs because we don’t see summer camp at a luxury for middle class kids. We see summer camp as a place where kids can grow and learn about themselves and explore their leadership skills, too. We see camp as a place where kids can, in many cases, escape the city and experience the beauty of the countryside.
SCOPE is unique in that it ties a child’s academic performance to receiving a scholarship to summer camp. The idea is to encourage kids to stay in school. And it works. Since SCOPE was founded, in 1991, more than 20,000 kids have made it through school in order to get that golden prize: the summer camp experience. After high school, SCOPE kids become eligible for college scholarships, too. There was no way we were going to turn down SCOPE for a small grant. We love this work!
Everyone had some crazy kid in their class who was just nuts about the theater. Or perhaps you were that crazy kid! TADA! gives the theater kids an outlet for that creative impulse. During the year, kids have to struggle to keep up with their schoolwork as well as manage classes and rehearsals at TADA! But in the summer, there’s nothing to come between the kids and musical theater. Just pure pleasure. We like the idea of kids having a moment to shine on stage, or even many moments! Kars4Kids was happy to help.
Wildflower Camp Foundation is completely different. This camp is specifically for bereaved children. It helps their remaining parents get some breathing space to take stock of their lives and what needs to be done going forward after the loss of a spouse. It helps the kids have a break from grief, but puts them together with other children who are going through the same thing. The kids get support from caring staff. There’s a need for this kind of summer camp and it felt right to give this effort our assistance.
Science Camps of America is all about the science. Kids get a total immersion science experience. Yes, there’s fun. But it’s all in the context of learning about how the world ticks. This camp is in Hawaii, so kids get to explore some pretty interesting flora and fauna. In today’s world, STEM skills are how kids are going to get ahead, so we’re happy when a program takes the initiative to combine science with a good time. We felt that this effort deserved our support.
Kids grow in leaps in bounds when they go to summer camp. That shouldn’t be for rich kids, only. Every child deserves some summer fun.
That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.