Camp Challenge brought back so many memories of my own experience at summer camp during middle school: the awkward first day when everyone meets, the apprehensiveness in trying something new, and then not wanting to leave your new best friends by the end of the week. What I don’t remember from my summer camp experience is all the educational material cleverly disguised as fun. Despite the blistering 100 degree weather, I didn’t hear a single student utter a complaint. This was truly a well-rounded experience for the students who decided to brave the outdoors for a week without cell phones and minimal air conditioning.
Through the NC Bankers Association, Communities In Schools of North Carolina was able to send almost 200 students from across the state for a one-week experience at the 4-H Sertoma Educational Center in Stokes County that would allow them to broaden their horizons, meet new people and establish tools and skills that may not receive in school, all for free! Each day brought a new experience and, without a schedule in hand, students approached one session just as eagerly as the next. From the typical arts & crafts, team building and swimming, to the not so ordinary public speaking, horseback riding and financial literacy, these students got it all during the week and couldn’t wait to come back next summer.
My personal favorite was the healthy living session. Did you know that a bag of skittles was 830 calories? With a suggested intake of 2,000 calories per day, that’s a meal. And the next time these students are headed to the McDonald’s drive-thru, they’ll think twice about ordering the double pounder with cheese, medium fries, large coke and a sundae. That’s about 1,850 calories. When they made their own meal, students choose salad with grilled chicken and an ice cream cone or hamburger with water, so that they can still indulge but maintain a healthy diet. Moderation is key.
For many of these students, this was the highlight of their summer. And a week without their cell phone proved to be not so bad after all.
Since January, Communities In Schools of North Carolina has produced the “Overcoming Obstacles” series that highlights affiliates, programs, volunteers, staff members and students associated with CISNC.
I invite you to watch the latest video on Camp Challenge in Stokes County where 162 middle-schoolers learned life and financial skills all while having fun in the sun!
Also, check out our past Overcoming Obstacles videos on YouTube. They’re inspiring and truly speak to the impact of CISNC.
I visited Camp Challenge last week so more to come on my amazing time there.