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Kids Korps Summer Volunteer Camps an invaluable experience

Bagging fruit at the San Diego Food Bank
Bagging fruit at the San Diego Food Bank

By Lindsey Loy

The Kids Korps La Colonia Volunteer Camps 2013 were an incredible success this summer. There were two camp sessions, one held in June and one in July, with a record number of participating campers and counselors. Between the two weeks, we volunteer at six different community organizations. At the San Diego Food Bank, counselors and campers sorted over 3,000 pounds of food for local distribution to the food insecure. We made cupcakes and decorated signs for the families of the patients at the Ronald McDonald House.

Sorting food for military families
Sorting food for military families

The San Diego Military Outreach Ministries hosted us, where we assembled food bags and blankets for needy military families. At the Senior Community Center in San Diego the kids spent time with the seniors, decorating birdhouses with them and serving their lunch. Through San Diego Coast Keepers, we did beach several clean-ups at Moonlight Beach in Encinitas. The North County Community Gardens had us mulching, watering, and harvesting vegetables in their community garden.

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IMG_20130724_120253_099 (3)Lastly, we visited the therapy dogs at Paws’itive Teams, learning the special tricks that they can do when they visit patients or veterans. The camp also had smaller scale projects held on our own camp site. Some of these projects included decorating quilt patches for quilts given to veterans though Soldier’s Angels, making seed balls for canyon restoration through San Diego Canyon Lands, and creating blankets for foster children. We also made sandwiches and bag lunches for the Bread of Life soup kitchen in Oceanside and learned CPR from Rancho Santa Fe Fire Department representatives.

Making sack lunches for Bread Of Life Rescue Mission
Making sack lunches for Bread Of Life Rescue Mission

The camp allowed our campers and counselors to give back to many different facets of San Diego. While the time and helping hands donated to the different organizations was outstanding, it really is the camp itself that is special. The camp is a special experience because it gets kids excited to volunteer. The enthusiasm that campers typically bring to summer camp is applied to our volunteer projects and with our teen leaders as counselors; campers have great role models leading them in community service.

Serving lunch at the Senior Community Center
Serving lunch at the Senior Community Center

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As a result, the impact of the camp on the kids is invaluable, getting them to understand the importance of and excited about helping others. The energy and enthusiasm of kids and teenagers is a powerful force when engaged in giving back to the community. Thank you so much to The John and Mary Rainsford Charitable Foundation, The Carol and Kent Landsberg Foundation, Santa Fe Christian Schools, Macys Corporate Services Inc., and the City of Solana Beach for your generosity, we wouldn’t be able to do our volunteer camps without you.

To learn more about Kids Korps please go to

www.kidskorps.org.


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