Camp Appalachia – Providing Food, Friends and a Safe Environment for Appalachian Children

Camp Appalachia

Appalachian parents often work full-time, low-paying jobs throughout the year leaving children unsupervised in the summer months when school is out. Our summer camps provide the children with a safe environment and healthy meals they may not normally receive at home alone. Our camps often also provide the children with clothing, new shoes, and other assistance if they are in need of it.

Did you know 77% of Appalachian children go without three meals a day? When school is out in Appalachia – the free or reduced school lunches end too.

Our summer camps ensure underprivileged Appalachian children receive a nutritious meal each day at camp.

Children are also provided a safe and healthy environment, rather than being left unsupervised at home while their parents are at work. Read some stories from a summer camp we support…

“One eight-year-old boy from the low income housing apartments had some serious anger and anti-social behaviors. After spending three weeks at camp with caring adults over the summer, and receiving lots of one-on-one attention, he was finally able to trust others and even helped other children with their crafts.”

camp“A 13-year-old boy (from the same housing project) came to camp with thorns in his bag—he knew he wasn’t allowed to bring a knife, but evidently he thought he might need to protect himself, so he brought thorns. All day long he kept the bag with him. After being paired up with a counselor one-on-one, by the end of the last day he had relaxed enough to put the bag down and have fun.”

“Many of the children were very hungry—we fed them breakfast, lunch, and sometimes two snacks. After they figured out that it was okay to ask for seconds, they ate hungrily, sometimes having three helpings.”

“And then there was the pool! The children kept asking, “Will we go to the pool today?” It was such a highlight for them! There, a counselor played catch with a boy who hadn’t opened up at all, and whose parents were both in prison. Some of the older girls enjoyed watching the young ones in the shallow end (with a counselor nearby). On rainy days we constructed a slip ‘n’ slide out of tarps, using baby shampoo and baby oil for extra slickness. What a blast! These children smiled, laughed, and rested secure that there were adults in the world who cared for them and wanted their best—if only for a few weeks.”

Submitted by Cumberland Mountain Outreach in KY