The Children's Fresh Air Society Fund at BCF helps send 429 kids to summer camp

July 07, 2016

(Baltimore, MD, 7/7/2016) 429 children in the Baltimore region are attending a summer camp this year after Baltimore Community Foundation awarded $125,531 to 18 regional camps from The Children’s Fresh Air Society Fund. 

The grants, made in the form of “camperships”—scholarships which help defray the cost of camp fees and tuition—will give disadvantaged and disabled Baltimore-area children the benefits of a summer camp experience.
Among this year’s grantees are camps serving children who have experienced the loss of a loved one, those with physical or cognitive disabilities, and those whose families would not have been able to afford to send them to camp otherwise. 

This year, campers will hike the Appalachian Trail, explore the wonders and beauty of nature through environmental education, and feel the thrill of the outdoors through traditional camp activities such as swimming, canoeing, hiking and horseback riding.

In 1890, the Children’s Fresh Air Society was formed, and arranged for 53 chronically-ill children to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine of the Maryland countryside. In the 126 summers since, the group’s generosity has made it possible for thousands of children to experience summer camp. In 1990, the Children’s Fresh Air Society entrusted to the Baltimore Community Foundation and has since distributed more than $2.8 million to enable Baltimore-area children to attend camps.

“For over a century, the Children’s Fresh Air Society has a proud tradition of helping children experience the outdoors,” says Tom Wilcox, BCF President and CEO. “There may be no better way for children to learn how to build strong relationships with both their environment and each other than a summer camp experience. We at BCF are proud to carry on the mission of the Society with the support of generous donors from across Baltimore.”

The 2016 Children’s Fresh Air Society Fund grantees include:

Baltimore County Sailing Club, Summer Sailing Club - $4,912, 8 campers
The Baltimore County Sailing Club has been offering a variety of summer programming for the last 22 years. Funding will fund full camperships to its two-week sailing skills camp and one-week Cove Crabs or Chesapeake children’s camps.

Baltimore Urban Leadership Foundation, The Door - $6,000 / 60 campers
Science and technology instruction are the hallmarks of this six-week day camp for students who attend Commodore John Rodgers Elementary-Middle School, Tench Tilghman Elementary/Middle School, and Patterson Park Public Charter School. Campers will engage in hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) learning projects that foster critical thinking, cooperative learning and problem solving.

Baltimore-Washington Conference United Methodist Church, Manidokan $6,450 / 21 campers
These one-week residential camps serve children ages 7-18 at two Maryland sites. Both locations offer swimming, boating, water sports, arts and crafts, hiking, nature study and youth leadership activities.

Camp Opportunity - $9,420 / 12 campers
This week-long residential camp serves children ages 7-11 who have been sexually or physically abused or neglected. Daily activities include swimming, computer games, fishing, outdoor games, a ropes course, arts and crafts, and canoeing, and are geared toward building self-esteem, goal setting, working as a team, and overcoming personal challenges.

Camp Possibilities - $5,000 / 10 campers
This five-day residential camp serves children with diabetes and focuses on teaching children about healthy living, as well as offering traditional camp activities like swimming, fishing, arts and crafts, sports and talent shows. 

Camp Rock - $5,000 / 10 campers
This two-week day camp in Baltimore County serves children from the Baltimore area from a variety of backgrounds, including children in crisis situations. Camp activities include reading, painting, environmental science, horsemanship, singing, sports and nature walks.

Echo Hill Outdoor School, Summer Explore Program, Baltimore Second Look - $5,856 / 14 campers
The Baltimore Second Look Program is a four-day residential camp that offers youngsters from Baltimore City Public Schools the opportunity to come to Echo Hill Outdoor School during the summer to build on the positive experiences they had during their visit for outdoor education during the school year.  All participating students are identified by their teachers as promising students who would benefit from this fun and educational experience.

Hampden Family Center, Summer Enrichment Camp - $4,512 / 4 campers
This six-week long day camp is located at Roosevelt Recreation Center in the Hampden neighborhood of Baltimore City. Campers will take taekwondo classes, visit local art museums, participate in a science program and plant a garden in partnership with the Hampden-based Free Food Farm. 

Helping Up Mission, Camp Wabanna - $7,500 / 15 campers

Camp Wabanna’s residential camps provide an environment in which children and teenagers can benefit from both personal relationships and one-on-one interaction, and a wide variety of team building activities and events such as group games, low and high element challenge courses, boating and tubing, sailing and kayaking.

League for People with Disabilities, Camp Greentop - $9,000 / 5 campers
Camp Greentop is a weeklong residential experience which offers a variety of traditional camp activities that provide both educational and recreational enrichment opportunities which help individuals with disabilities to grow socially, emotionally, academically and physically while enjoying the healing qualities of nature.

Living Classrooms Foundation, BUGS Summer Camp - $8,000 / 10 campers

The Baltimore Urban Gardening with Students (BUGS) camp gives rising second through fifth graders from Baltimore’s Commodore John Rodgers Elementary School the opportunity to explore horticulture, ecology, and the wonders of nature through cooking, gardening, creative arts and dance. 

National Aquarium in Baltimore, Watershed Wonders - $6,171 / 20 campers
This day camp gives Baltimore City public school students the opportunity to discover the marshes and waterways of the Chesapeake Bay. Campers will seine for fish, crabs and shrimp; spend two days exploring two watersheds on kayak trips; and learn to take and test scientific samples of Chesapeake Bay water.  

Outward Bound, Youth Leadership Summer Camp - $6,260 / 12 campers
The intense, five-day Youth Leadership Summer Camp takes youth on five day hiking and rock climbing expeditions along the Appalachian Trail where they engage in a series of fun, yet challenging, wilderness adventures. During the expeditions, youth are grounded in Outward Bound’s character, service and leadership curriculum.

Patterson Park Audubon Center, Summer Urban Naturalist - $6,371 / 100 campers 
This five-week day camp in Baltimore’s Patterson Park draws campers from Hampstead Hill Academy in southeast Baltimore. Many campers speak English as a second language. The camp focuses on enriching programs including environmental studies, horticultural studies, ecological restoration and leadership development.

Power House Community of Christ Church, Chesapeake Bay Mission Center Youth Camp - $5,000 / 20 campers
Power House’s one-week residential camp draws in campers of various ages from the area in and around Southwest Baltimore’s Pigtown neighborhood. Many recreational and enriching activities are offered during the camp, including wildlife history, problem solving, fishing and sports. Camp staff members are trained to respond to students’ unique emotional and social needs. 

Roberta's House, Camp Erin Baltimore - $5,157 / 9 campers 
Camp Erin, the largest bereavement camp in the country, is designed for children and teens ages 6-17 who have experienced the death of someone close to them. This three day residential camp combines traditional, fun camp activities with grief education and emotional support led by professionals and trained volunteers. Camp Erin provides a unique opportunity for peer bonding among children and teens facing a similar life circumstance.

St. Vincent de Paul Society, Camp St. Vincent - $17,520 / 80 campers 
Camp St. Vincent is an eight-week day camp located in Patterson Park in Southeast Baltimore. It provides a supervised environment with academic, therapeutic and enrichment programming for children ages 5-14 from homeless families from Baltimore City and Baltimore County. The program is specifically designed to address the impact of homelessness on academic, social and emotional development with a structured reading and math curriculum, social skills groups and cultural enrichment activities.

The Arc of Baltimore, Bay Buddies -  $4,880 / 10 campers
Bay Buddies is a day camp and educational enrichment program for children with intellectual, developmental and physical disabilities hosted by the Living Classrooms Foundation. Activities are tailored to the specific needs of each child and include sailing, horseback riding, swimming and much more. Campers are drawn from the student bodies of four partner schools: Battle Monument and Maiden Choice Schools in Baltimore County, and William S. Baer and George W.F. McMechen in Baltimore City. 

The Baltimore Community Foundation is a private philanthropic organization created by Baltimoreans to serve the current and future needs of the Baltimore region. Representing the common interests of a diverse pool of donors who care about Baltimore, BCF uses grants, initiatives and advocacy to address issues facing the region today, while building a civic endowment to address the needs of future generations. BCF also offers donors customized support for their individual philanthropic goals, expert assistance in learning more about the causes they care about, and the opportunity to join others with similar interests to learn and give together. 

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