Summer Camp for All

Tuesday, July 18th, 2023

City Camp partnership with the American Diabetes Association

For children, summer is freedom from the obligations of the school year.  For many working parents, it is a challenge – and an expensive one.  Sending children to camp for the day can be extremely costly. According to research, higher income children are nearly three times more likely to participate in a structured summer experience than children from lower income families. Cost is the number one factor. Opportunities are not meeting demand, in particular for low-income families. [i]

The diocese’s City Camp program continues to grow as a result of this need. Created in 2009 by the Rev. Andrew Kellner as a summer day camp for kids and their families in the underserved neighborhoods of the diocese, the diocese provides staff and financial support to churches who want to have the camp, but are unable to support it.

This summer, four churches will provide a month of camp to children in their community either for free or for up to $25 a week per child. In previous years, the diocese would fund one or two weeks. “After the pandemic, some summer programs in the city were no longer viable,” said the Rev. Canon Betsy Ivey, who oversees City Camp and youth outreach for the diocese. “As a result, we are seeing an even larger need from our communities to be a stable presence for their families. City Camp is also one of the best evangelism tools.  Churches are encouraged to invite parents for other church events and worship.”

In the Fall of 2021, the diocese began a partnership with the American Diabetes Association in Philadelphia, coordinated by the Rev. Canon Toneh Smyth, who spearheads mission work for the diocese.  This partnership then grew into development of a summer camp component.  Children at all of the City Camp locations receive tools and education to reduce cases of diabetes in children under the age of 20.  “When children feel a part of learning the ‘why’ we do things versus just being told what to do, they tend to connect more with the information,” said Smyth. “This program would not be possible without City Camp in place.”

Since its inception, City Camp has served more than 300 children in our church communities. You can support City Camp by making a donation of any size. Your donation would cover these supportive and team-building activities. Give Now.