Our summer youth camp made a big difference in the lives of elementary and middle school children.

How do we know? The parents and volunteers told us so, but we could also see it in the smiles of the children.

The 55 children attending our camp in June and July played games, did sports, learned about nature and animals during visits from Palm Beach Zoo, went to the library, and spent time brushing up on their reading skills.

But the summer’s biggest thrill was a trip to Walt Disney World, said Rhonda Rogers, our executive director.

“A lot of kids have never been there,” she said. “You could really see in their eyes how excited they were to go there for the first time. We had lots and lots of smiles.”

Rhonda said the goal of the camp was to give the children a place to go in the summer months where they could be entertained and enriched academically. Raising reading levels for children, she said, remains a key focus of our work at Lake Worth West Resident Planning Group.

Children and their families also benefitted from food donations which were delivered weekly by Palm Beach County Food Bank.

Our camp was made possible by our main funders Jim Moran Foundation and Impact 100 Palm Beach County, as well as our other partners which included Palm Beach Zoo, Big Brother Big Sister of Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Palm Beach County Food Bank, and Dollar General, Rhonda said.

Efforts are already underway to secure the needed funding to run our camp next summer. This year, our third annual Literacy Luncheon, scheduled for March 20, will be a fundraiser for the camp. Details on the luncheon will be coming soon.

“I think the camp was well received,” Rhonda said. “I know the kids enjoyed it, especially the trip to Disney!”