The Rapidian

Community Kids brings "camp" to kids' backyards this summer

Kids will have the chance to experience the learning and fun of summer camp safely in their own backyards.
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About Community Kids

Community Kids exists to transform communities through kids by providing long-term, life-changing, worldview-expanding relationships, led by Jesus Christ. We do this one block at a time – by creating neighborhood programming that empowers kids to become leaders. And we do this one kid at a time – by partnering with neighborhood parents to bring kids into mentoring relationships.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — June 2, 2020 Community Kids is bringing Backyard Day Camp — a summer camp experience complete with games, Bible lessons and even a night spent in a tent — to families’ backyards this summer, with help from local camp counselors. 
 

The nonprofit typically brings around 150 kids to summer camps around Grand Rapids, but most are closed at least for June due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead of forgoing camp altogether, which is an often life-changing experience for youth, Mission Vision Director Donny Irving and the Community Kids team chose to try something new.
 

“For many kids, their favorite time of year is when they get to go to camp,” said Irving. “As an organization we believe in personal relationships, so we wanted to still have camp in a safe way.” 
 

Ten years ago, Community Kids began in Irving’s backyard, so it’s only natural for the organization to host day camp in the backyards of the families they serve.
 

“I think it’s a fantastic thing that you guys are doing this,” said Donna, a grandma to kids having day camp this week. “It’s good for them. They love it.”
 

For safety, small teams of counselors are leading individual families of kids in physically distant activities, and are maintaining distance from other teams and sanitizing as needed. 
 

“I’m excited to be with the kids and have some type of camp this summer,” said Victoria, a Camp Michawana counselor serving at Backyard Day Camp.
 

If you would like to get involved, sign up to host a day camp in your backyard, or learn more, visit CommunityKids.org/DayCamp.
 

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