Our Executive Director:
Our Camp Director:
We are dedicated to breaking the cycle of poverty and what comes with it, through a balance of social, educational, recreational, and emotional activities. The objective is to "Teach children to care about themselves and others, their country, community and their environment and to let them know that people care about them". Citizenship, leadership and teamwork are stressed in each activity. Taking responsibility for their own actions and attitudes, and self-esteem building is another goal. We address conflict resolution, respect, making appropriate decisions, motivation to stay in school, staying away from gangs, and volunteerism through diverse activities. Camp is a unique opportunity to experience living and socializing with groups of other children and adults in a nurturing and risk free setting. There is time during the day for reading and journal writing. “Grandparent Day” is a phenomenal opportunity for children to partner with local volunteer seniors, learning that children can give without having to have money. The senior partners for the day encourage brainstorming in our Kids at Hope™ activity --- discussing and drawing what HOPE and SUCCESS mean. Children and staff will work together on a special activity where they talk about goals for the future of the children and how the campers can take steps toward reaching their goals.
The winners of the 2009 American Camp Association- Illinois Program Excellence Award and the President's Daily Points of Light Award in 2000, Camp Care-A-Lot is a one-week residential camp for children from low or no income families. Camp Care-A-Lot is a non-profit organization founded by local individuals and governed by a volunteer Board of Directors from Sangamon, Morgan, Christian, Scott, Pike and Cass counties. There is no charge to any family or agency which refers children to come to camp. Camp Care-A-Lot leases the Mississippi Valley Christian Camp near Pittsfield, Il in July. The camp is open to children, ages 6-10, regardless of race, culture and background. Children and their staff mentors sleep in dorms, have 3 nutritious meals and 3 snacks everyday, go swimming and boating, do arts and crafts (making jewelry, decorating shirts, picture framing, tie dyeing, and sand sculptures), hike, and have campfires and entertainment. Camp Care-A-Lot is staffed entirely by volunteers from all walks of life. We now “grow our own” staff by inviting former campers back to be role models for younger children and enabling these older mentors to “give back” to the community. Volunteer guests speak to children about importance of a good education and how that directly relates to careers. During our 16 years, guest speakers have included representatives from Firefighters, Police and Sheriff's Department; Mayors Tim Davlin of Springfield, John Hayden of Pittsfield and Randy Duvendak; former Mayors Karen Hasara of Springfield and Ron Tendick of Jacksonville; the Sangamon County Canine Rescue Squad; board member Gary Scott, owner WLDS/WEAI talking about weather safety; board member Jerry Lambert or other members of the Channel 20 news team; the "Llama Ladies", breeders of llamas; a blacksmith; a falconer; and representatives from Ronald McDonald Children’s Charities and Illinois School for the Visually Impaired and more. Local city officials Tony Williams, Helen Baldwin, Dare Officer Clint, and members of various U of Ill Cooperative Extension services, help children understand life skills like volunteering and making appropriate choices. Volunteer professionals from local churches, school principals and psychologists work with campers on how to take responsibility for their own actions and how to work together cooperatively and in a collaborative atmosphere.
Our belief system coincides with Kids at Hope™, a special program which teaches children that they can set goals and achieve them if they strive every day to reach the goals. The statement, "All Children are Capable of Success, No Exceptions!", is “owned” by every staff member and camper! Children work with caring adults while getting opportunities for success and high expectations. A highlight of each week is our "Grandparent Day". Seniors from groups in a 5 county area, spend the day with children in 2 activities. The day begins with the “Tunnel of Hope”™ where the “grandparents” and camp staff make a standing tunnel for campers to walk through as the children get off the bus and enter Lincoln Baptist church, our site for the day. Adults applaud campers who are astonished and delighted to be given that honor. “The activities are like magic!” as one 2009 camper put it. Kids at Hope™ beliefs are blended in as children and their grandparent for the day engage in lively conversation on what hope and success are and how everyone can achieve their goals by taking “baby steps”. The other activity enables the partners get to know each other and have a wonderful time making placemats. Children autograph the project and learn that they can give of themselves even if they have no money to buy things. Seniors have come back year after year for this event.
Camp culminates with our all-camp talent show. Please come to watch this event. Call 217-960-0236 for information (Friday, July 20, 2012 at 7:15 at the Mississippi Valley Camp). Our campers and staff work all week for this wonderful evening and it is a major self-esteem booster for campers. For more information and volunteering click here or call Carissa at (217) 960-0236.
TEEN CAMP PROGRAM
EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM
In 2007 an EDUCATION SCHOLARSHIP program for FORMER CAMPERS wanting to further their education after high school was implemented. Since education is stressed throughout the program, Camp Care-A-Lot now offers scholarships to trade school, college or university or work apprenticeships. See this link on the website, or call Eydee Schultz 217-546-4777 or Fred Benson 217-546-7560 Board of Directors for more information.
Camp Care-A-Lot answers an important need in the Central Illinois community and is a haven for children who may not be able to experience this nurturing and safe opportunity to live and learn together.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS NEWS
In 2011, with a grant from the Lumpkin Family Foundation, Camp Care-A-Lot created a Strategic Plan to fully address our mission to have a positive impact on the life of a child through a camping experience. - Read the Strategic Plan
In 2011, we installed our first member of the board who has been a camper. We are proud and excited to grow our own board and staff from the ranks of our campers.
EXECUTIVE BOARD OFFICERS
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR EMERITUS
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