Nearly 50 children who attended Camp Care-A-Lot, a program of Compass for Kids, enjoyed healthy meals and snacks thanks to a $5,758 grant from Memorial Medical Center Foundation.
Meals during the five-day, four-night camp included meatloaf and mashed potatoes, roast chicken and risotto, quesadillas and chicken tortilla soup, spaghetti and meatballs, tomato soup and grilled cheese and a salad bar at every lunch and dinner. Snacks included blueberries, raspberries, watermelon, strawberries, grapes, apples, bananas, peaches and plums.
The grant also purchased dental hygiene kits, laundry bags, water bottles and medical equipment for the camp nurse.
“Many kids come from places of scarcity. These supplies help kids develop healthy habits. It is so easy for us to take for granted the things we have that others simply don’t,” said Teegan Lund, director of Camp Care-A-Lot. “Some families live in situations where they don’t have running or hot water, the power is out because the bill could not be paid, the house is falling apart, the house has pests, the children have never had routine dental care or learned about dental hygiene, meals are not nutritional or frequent. At camp, the kids learn that there is an alternative to the way their life is, all they have to do is seek it for themselves. They have the power to succeed.”
Camp Care-A-Lot has taken place in early August for the past 26 years and became a program of Compass for Kids in 2018. There is no fee for the children, who range from 6 to 11 years old, to attend camp.
Besides the traditional camp activities of swimming, arts and crafts and sleeping in tents, the children also participated in lessons about kindness, respect, accountability, teamwork, healthy routines, meals, and hygiene.
“I cannot express the depth of gratitude I feel for the donors who made this grant possible,” Lund said. “I too was a child from tough places because of generational poverty. My life was impacted by Camp Care-A-Lot and would not have ended the same without the love and care I received. Every year this camp offers roughly 50 kids the opportunity to make the same changes.”