There are resources all around us, if you have a little imagination to find them. When most people look at a vacant lot, they see unusable space. We see a place that can be transformed into a summer day camp environment that can change lives.
For years, we have been working at underfunded camps, full of kids needing an opportunity to learn and grow together. Materials are in short supply, and our paychecks aren't anywhere near enough to live on. Our idea is simple. With a small amount of space and some materials to make it our own, we can give urban youth the support they need while supporting ourselves as well.
We would use Portland, Oregon as the backdrop - utilizing the city and surrounding landscape to engage kids in a unique day camp program. Everything about traditional summer camps would stay the same - only maximized. With a thoughtful curriculum, we believe we can make day camp a meaningful tool for exploration and community building.
We're passionate about this project and the kids we serve, but right now, it doesn't pay the bills. We're looking for financial independence to devote ourselves fully to this idea. Once we get it started, the day camp can be entirely self-sustaining to continue this project well beyond the initial $25,000. This could be the ultimate ongoing gift - to do what we love and see the benefits of it in kids for years to come.
- Natalie Locke (02/22/1989) and Akari Anderson (02/21/1990), Portland Natives and Camp Enthusiasts.