These 3 Detroit nonprofits offer fun summer activities for kids

Summer is right around the corner and Dowtin Jr. couldn’t be happier. Elementary student can’t wait to attend annual LifeBUILDERS summer day camp programwhich takes place in Regent Park, the Detroit neighborhood where he lives.

“I’m excited and ready,” he said. “We do fun activities. I make friends. You go to the gymDavon Downtin Jr. and Charles Reeder Activities. We do a lot of things.”

The summer of 2022 will mark LIFE BUILDERS Grade 12 holding the annual day camp. Based in Regent Park, LifeBUILDERS is a faith-based Christian community development organization dedicated to serving the northeast Detroit community of approximately 10,000 inhabitants.

The camp is just one of many spokes in the nonprofit’s Wheelhouse, which also includes housing renovations, senior outreach programs and youth programs like the Flag -football, mentoring and summer jobs.

This year, the day camp will take place from June 27 to July 15 at St. Thomas Lutheran Church, just steps from Regent Park in Eastpointe. The program, which is open to youth in grades 1-6, takes place Monday through Tuesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Camp programming offers a mix of indoor and outdoor activities including science projects, cooking classes, games, singing and Bible lessons, plus optional classes like crafts, LEGOs and basketball -ball.

Intended for young people from Regent Park, the day camp accepts 150 young people each year. Larry Johnson, co-founder and executive director of LifeBUILDERS, says the organization started the camp to fill an unmet need at Regent Park.

“Honestly, the lord just put it on our hearts,” he said. “Kids here in our underfunded community don’t get a lot of affordable opportunities to do really cool things. When we started the first camp, we had about 50 kids, and it just kept growing and growing. to grow.”

This year’s camp will feature a special collaboration with Camp Michawana, another denominational Christian organization that operates its own camp in Hastings, Michigan. Michiwana Advisors will bring their expertise to Regent Park for a special mini-camp they will be hosting with LifeBUILDERS June 9-11. Among other things, the mini-camp will offer t-shirt dyeing, volleyball games and water balloon fights. Then, during the last week of the LifeBUILDERS Day Camp, some of the young participants will have the opportunity to travel to Camp Michawana in Hastings itself for a week-long overnight camp.

Davon’s cousin, Charles Reeder, will also be attending LifeBUILDERS summer camp in June. The 14-year-old has been attending day camp since grade three, but this year he will be attending as a counsellor.

“I really like the interaction you have with the other kids there and the counselors,” he says. “And that it’s so Christ-centered and you learn the word while having fun.”

Charles’ mother, Stacy Kallapure, appreciates the program and what her participation has meant to him.

“It gave him a chance to do things he really enjoys doing. [like] arts and crafts,” she says. “And as a [former] As a Sunday school teacher, just hearing him talk about the Bible and knowing it freely and being able to experience the things he does has warmed my heart.”

Detroit Center Summer Camp

Another camp popular with Detroit youth is located a little closer to the geographic heart of Motor City. Downtown Detroit Christian (CDC) organizes its own annual conference summer day camp for more than two decades. It is part of aCDC Summer Day Camp a broader program of youth programs that also includes tutoring and educational enrichment classes throughout the year.

This year’s six-week camp will be held at 1550 Taylor Street, June 28 through August 4, Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. , literacy, gardening, interactive field trips and Bible lessons.

This year, the partnership between CDC and Neighborhood School of Arts (SIN). Billy and Sarah Marks of NAS will collaborate with camp youth to create an original theatrical production based on the history of the neighborhood, including the CDC headquarters that previously served as a residence for both the Tried Stone Baptist Church and a synagogue known as Taylor Shul.

CDC program director Kyle Lake says the summer camp is meant to be a place of refuge and strength for local children, many of whom may face issues like poverty or violence.

“We want our children to understand the importance of community and our goal is also to remind them that they are loved,” he says. “Our goal is not just to be with them, but to develop future leaders who can be part of this day camp and lead it for years to come.”

Summer fun in Woodbridge

Thanks to Woodbridge Neighborhood Development (WDN) and a variety of local partners.

“We are delighted to offer quality of life fitness programs, yoga and tai chi, as well as in-depth reading, arts, crafts and sports for children Monday through Thursday at Scripps. Park,” said Rienna Stewart, Director of Communications and WDN.Youth at Scripps Park programming.

Summer activities, which kick off regularly around the end of June, will take place Monday through Thursday at Scripps Park. Many events are being held in conjunction with the Douglass Branch of the Detroit Public Library and will feature an “Oceans of Possibilities” theme. They include arts and crafts days, summer reading programs and other activities like a magic show, a mad science workshop under the sea, a petting zoo and encounters with mermaids and Spongebob. The Monday-Thursday events will be paired with a Meetup and the Eat Up program offering free lunches to youth 18 and under.

Audubon Detroit will also host several bird watching events at Scripps Park. The recreation area will also be the site of Westside PLAY!. Run by the Motor City Grounds Crew (MCGC), the program helps provide neighborhood children with a safe place to play and encourages exposure to sports like field hockey and lacrosse. WDN is partnering with MCGC to host the event at Scripps on Thursday. Westside PLAY will also take place this summer at Northwest Goldberg and Virginia Park thanks to a collaboration with the NW Goldberg cares and 360 Detroit Nonprofit. A complete list of WDN summer events is available on the association’s website. online calendar.

Resilient Neighborhoods is a reporting and engagement series that examines how Detroit residents and community development organizations are working together to strengthen local neighborhoods. It is made possible thanks to funding from the Kresge Foundation.

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