Paying It Forward – How We Make A Difference In This World
As is often echoed during the holiday season, we all want peace, health, and happiness for ourselves and our loved ones. During the summer our STARFISH Values Program not only supports this, along with our camp’s mission of teaching children the skills of making and keeping friends while building their self-esteem; it also creates the environment that makes this possible.
It’s been said that “teaching kids to count isn’t nearly as important as teaching them what counts.” We feel strongly that we can teach our campers a greater lesson in giving to others. It is by example that our campers learn the importance of helping those less fortunate than us.
So, how do we make a positive difference in this world?
Every summer, each session, we swim laps for Project Morry, which is a nationally recognized, youth development organization that empowers youth from at-risk, economically challenged communities to envision a positive future. This summer, our campers swam over 8,000 laps in two afternoons! We are getting close to our goal of helping send more well deserving campers to Morry’s Camp next summer. If you wish to help us bridge the gap, please feel free to donate online by visiting www.projectmorry.org
Members of our Camp Community give back in their own way as well. Here are just a few examples:
- Timber Lake West Camper Carly Z and her friend Rachel R. started a charity a few years ago called “Covers Cause We Care.” For the past five years, they have collected almost 3000 blankets from campers and counselors at a variety of sleep-away camps including Timber Lake West, and our sister camps Timber Lake and Tyler Hill. We were proud to help them work towards their goal of collecting an additional 1000 blankets this summer. Carly and Rachel got the bedding out to the amazing people at the Interfaith Nutrition Network (INN). They are the largest private social service agency on Long Island and run 19 soup kitchens, emergency shelters and long term housing program to help people in need all over Long Island. Well done, ladies!
- Each November we have several staff members who participate in “Movember”, the month of growing mustaches to raise awareness and funds to change the face of men’s health. We are not sure who wore it better, James or Jono!
- Rocket Man, Antoni, is taking on a new challenge this summer. He is participating in the Mongol Rally, which is a charity rally that goes from London to Mongolia. Go Help is the UK adventure charity, which runs this rally and are committed to working with local communities in Central Asia and Central America to improve their access to education and healthcare services. It is run by volunteers, and began as an effort to launch and operate ambulance services in third world countries. You can keep up with Antoni’s project here if you wish: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Goat-Way-Team/281150778762912
- Each holiday season, the The Timber Lake Family of Camps “adopts” several less fortunate families in Glen Cove, our winter home, to help make their holidays a little brighter. In conjunction with our adopt-a-family program, our day school, North Shore Day School hosts a toy drive for their students to bring in unwrapped gifts. These gifts not only supplement our adopt-a-families, they also go to help others in need here on Long Island.
These are just a few ways that we and some of the members of our Camp Family give back to the communities that we live and work in. Tell us what people are doing in your community and how your children are paying it forward.