What do you do when it rains during summer camp? If you’re the teenagers of EVkids camp Session 2, you put on a “Rain Slam” in the new barn!

Warm, dry, and sipping hot chocolate, campers and and counselors performed open mic poetry, sang songs, and acted out skits. A highlight of the “Rain Slam” was when 8th grader Bella – whose mother, aunt, uncle, and grandfather all attended EVkids Camp as children – played her ukulele while singing a song she wrote herself. Then, when the weather cleared on the final day, every camper competed in the EVkids Games, which ended in an all-girls sweep, led by 8th grader Sam (left) who won every single event.

Champions!

During Session 1, EVkids’ youngest Camp crew, 11- and 12-year-olds, had a week filled with many “firsts.” Counselors taught campers how to swim, the group made a trip to the Ben and Jerry’s Factory for some delicious ice cream, and 6th grader Jordan tried archery for the first time – getting a bull’s-eye on his first shot!

Bull’s-eye!

During Counselor in Training week, EVkids ages 15 to 18 learned the skills needed to be a positive leader. Everyone made the 4,000-foot trek up Camel’s Hump Mountain together. New friends Amy (9th grade) and Kasilyn (10th grade) took the opportunity to talk about making their goals become a reality, as they hiked and encouraged each other up the mountain. The future psychologist and future elementary school teacher, respectively, pushed themselves all the way to the top of mountain to eat sandwiches while enjoying the view.

Mountain views

EVkids Camp Co-Director Heather Angell saw the whole summer as a “mini-leadership experience” for many of the campers and counselors. CIT week challenged high schoolers to learn how to be role models. During Session 1, camp veterans like Jimmy and Amadi stayed quiet about the Ben & Jerry’s trip so they wouldn’t ruin the surprise for everyone else. Amara and Vlad’s experiences in Session 2 made them want to continue working on their chess and art skills when they go to high school this fall. Looking back, these youths showed that even if the weather isn’t cooperating, or you haven’t done something before, believing in yourself and having a community that believes in you makes all the difference.

Amadi and Jimmy

All told, 27 campers and 7 counselors attended the 37th summer of EVkids Camp, which drew to a close last Thursday. Since 1980, EVkids Camp has inspired inner-city youth with a sense of the larger world around them. Accustomed to the pavement and tall buildings of inner-city Boston, these campers conquer mountains and read under trees in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Together they cook meals for fellow campers, master swimming and archery, and create a safe and supportive community with one another.

What a summer!

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