WAAM Talk 1600

Michael Singleton, DDS

TRANSFORMATIONAL POWER OF SLEEPAWAY SUMMER CAMP HIGHLIGHTED AT CAMP MATTERS! BENEFIT EVENT FOR WASHTENAW CAMP PLACEMENT

Washtenaw Camp Placement (WCP) is thrilled to announce the success of the Camp Matters! Benefit Event, where the transformational power of sleepaway summer camp was a key focus.

[Camp] might sound like just a fun thing – and it is a fun thing, to be sure – but fun is not the reason we are dedicating ourselves to getting kids out there. We send kids to camp because just one week of sleepaway summer camp can change a child’s life,” said WCP Executive Director Matt Tarver-Wahlquist.

This sentiment was echoed by Rev. Dr. Shannon Polk, who shared, “Every year of elementary school I went to camp and I still have those memories. I know what a difference that camp makes for kids that live in the city, and aren’t always exposed to those things. The memories last a lifetime, and so, that’s why we are here. To send kids to camp so they can have those same memories and those same experiences.” She announced a $5,000 grant to WCP from the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, which will fund ten camperships this summer to help “improve the lives of Washtenaw County children – where everyone is welcome and no one is left behind.”

Children who receive camperships are given the opportunity to attend one- or two-week sleepaway summer camps, tuition-free. Sleeping bags and other camping gear are also provided. Overnight summer camp offers a unique experience where children are immersed in an experience-oriented learning environment. After attending camp, children develop a greater affinity for nature, increased independence, perseverance, and social awareness. Activities such as swimming can help save lives, while cooperative ropes courses can build teamwork skills and confidence, potentially leading to improved academic success. The more years a child can attend camp, the greater the impact on their life. The skills and confidence gained at camp can transform the lives of children living in challenging circumstances and lead to better long-term success rates in college or vocational training, careers, and family life.

Eighty WCP supporters attended the event on May 4th, 2024, at Misty Valley at Frutig Farms, where over $30,000 was raised to support Washtenaw Camp Placement. Support for Camp Matters! was provided by our event sponsors: The Mosaic Foundation, Linda Ewing Forster – Realtor at Real Estate One Ann Arbor, First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor, Bank of Ann Arbor, and The Andrews Group. WCP continues to seek additional partners in the community to help change the future for more deserving children.

About Washtenaw Camp Placement

Washtenaw Camp Placement’s mission is to connect economically disadvantaged youth to camp through community support. Washtenaw Camp Placement (WCP) believes that resident summer camp is a life changing experience that provides children an opportunity for growth in social, emotional, and physical wellbeing. The youth WCP places in camp would not have such an opportunity otherwise. WCP is happy to offer this enrichment possibility to students in Grades 5 and above next year through age 16 who live and/or go to school in Washtenaw County. Applications are screened to determine which applicants would most benefit from a resident camp experience. WCP is the only camping program that accepts referrals from teachers and counselors in all Washtenaw county school districts, as well as from social workers in human service agencies throughout the county. 

Camping occurs in the summer, but there are many activities to be done year-round, including mailings, filing, gathering camper clothing and gear, compiling statistics, publicity, and fundraising. Contact WCP to discuss volunteer activities.  

WCP is funded by individual donations, businesses, organizations, foundations, and our wonderful partner camps. The organization receives no government funds. The number of boys and girls sent to camp each year depends entirely on funds available. Donations are welcomed and accepted at washtenawcampplacement.org or by mail. We also accept and appreciate donations of goods and services. Our campers need new or very gently used: sleeping bags, duffle bags, bath towels and washcloths, single bed linens, socks (new), water bottles, flashlights, non-aerosol bug repellant, sunscreen, rain ponchos, and cloth laundry bags. Our office needs: copy paper, postage, and printer cartridges. 

For more information or to send a donation, contact:

Washtenaw Camp Placement

Program Director

Amanda Fales

734-968-3895

afales@washtenawcampplacement.org

3135 South State Street

Suite 350-D

Ann Arbor, MI 48108

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