BCF Celebrates $3 million in grants from The Children’s Fresh Air Society Fund

April 11, 2018

Kids in a swimming pool at summer camp.

Have a question about how to apply to the Fresh Air Fund? Visit our grant page to find out more. 
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Since 1990, The Children’s Fresh Air Society Fund has provided summer camp experiences to disadvantaged children from Baltimore. This year, the fund celebrates distributing over $3 million to provide “camperships” for thousands of Baltimore City children over the 28 years it has been housed at BCF.  

The milestone is a continuation of the rich tradition The Children’s Fresh Air Society’s 128-year history of sending local kids to summer camp. When the society began in 1890, it arranged for 53 chronically-ill children to enjoy the fresh air and sunshine of the Maryland countryside. The Society operated its own camp for many years. In 1990, the Children’s Fresh Air Society was entrusted to BCF.

We continue the tradition of the Society through grants each year. In 2018, the fund will provide $125,219 in camperships to 21 regional summer camps to give 486 children a camp experience.  

This year, camps receiving funding range from day camps that celebrate African-American community and culture, to residential camps that feature fare like kayaking, ropes courses and camping for children of all ages. 

“We are very proud to be part of the rich history of the Children’s Fresh Air Society,” says Shanaysha Sauls, BCF President & CEO. “Experiencing the outdoors is an essential part of childhood, and these camperships have allowed thousands of Baltimore’s children to attend a summer camp for decades. We are proud to carry on the Society’s mission with the help of so many generous donors from across the region.”

The 2018 Children’s Fresh Air Society Fund grantees include:

Baltimore Yearly Meeting, Opequon Quaker Camp - $4,325 / 5 campers
Rooted in nature and celebrating connections to the earth and to one another, this traditional summer camp experience features art projects, carpentry activities, co-operative games, swimming in the pool, and exploring in the creek.

Camp Opportunity - $14,127 / 13 campers
This week-long residential camp serves children who have been 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 Pecometh - $5,754 / 12 campers
This five-day residential camp serves young people recruited through the Baltimore Department of Social Services and the Baltimore City Public Schools. Camp activities include canoeing, swimming, sailing, arts and crafts, singing, horseback riding and nature education.

Camp Possibilities - $5,213 / 7 campers
This residential camp in Darlington 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 Puh’tok for Girls and Boys - $4,613 / 4 campers
This two-week residential camp in Monkton serves youth ages 7-12 from diverse economic backgrounds. Campers enjoy a variety of traditional camp activities, including archery, canoeing, arts and crafts, hiking and tent camping.

Camp Rock - $4,805 / 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.

Power House Community of Christ Church, Chesapeake Bay Mission Center Youth Camp - $4,805 / 8 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. 

Cylburn Arboretum Association, Cylburn Nature Science Summer Camp - $3,213 / 10 campers
This five-day long day camp in Baltimore focuses on science and the natural environment. Using the resources within the arboretum and in Druid Hill Park, campers get to explore their surroundings and learn about physics, plants, animals, and participate in fun activities that usually revolve around an age-appropriate theme. 

Elev8 Baltimore Summer Camp – $2,506 / 2 campers 
This six-week day camp engages students in grades 5-8 in an enriching summer camp program. Each camp day starts with Harambee!, a high-energy morning meeting that celebrates the entire camp community, and is followed by a rich curriculum of academic and recreational activities.  

Hampden Family Center, Summer Enrichment Camp - $5,564 / 6 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 - $8,217 / 14 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 - $8,841 / 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 Classroom, BUGS Camp $7,688 / 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, Henry Hall Week on the Bay Camp - $5,812 / 31 campers
During this day camp, campers canoe through a wetland marsh, sail aboard a skipjack, and restore oyster habitat at Phillips Wharf Environmental Center. By the program’s conclusion, participants will be introduced to sailing etiquette and canoeing skills and gain an understanding of the life cycle and conservation needs of the iconic blue crab and eastern oyster species. 

Notre Dame Preparatory, Camp Umoja - $3,460 / 38 campers
This two-week residential camp brings Baltimore children to the campus of Notre Dame Preparatory, where NDP, Calvert Hall and Loyola Blakefield students serve as counselors. Campers take part in a variety of educational and recreational activities. 

Patterson Park Audubon Center, Summer Urban Naturalist - $6,357 / 205 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.

Roberta’s House, Camp Erin - $4,613 / 8 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.

Raise Up 2 Rise - $2,688 / 2 campers
This eight-week camp celebrates African-American culture and community. During the first 4 weeks, campers will understand their heritage by studying and discussing historical African-American figures in the arts, dance, STEM, theatre and sports.  During the second 4 weeks, campers will rehearse and master a performance influenced by today’s artists in the arts, dance, STEM, theatre and sports.

St. Vincent de Paul, Camp St. Vincent - $17,903 / 86 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 -  $4,805 / 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. About half of the 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. 

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