The Dallas action centers has a tradition of conducting summer camps for underprivileged children in the local community for years. Initially we used to partner with local organizations such as Margaret’s Treehouse and City of McKinney’s services. Recently we adopted the local Bhutanese refugee children into a program of year-round tutoring services and summer camps. When COVID hit, we had to reinvent. As we went through the metamorphosis to deliver content digitally and engage our thriving and bright crop of youth volunteers. We realized that there is a fundraising potential to this traditionally service-oriented summer project. One of our youth executive leaders, Jaya Bhaskaram came up with the idea of having youth conduct virtual summer camps globally.
Twenty-one vibrant, enthusiastic and passionate youth instructors conducted a total of twenty-two virtual summer camps. Our hope was to be able to conduct six camps. We definitely exceeded our goal. Experienced as well as fresh instructors were in charge of coming up with lesson plans, marketing material and promoting the event in addition to handling administrative tasks. Some of the instructors even spent extra time outside of the scheduled classes to work with their students, offering makeup classes to those who missed. Our instructors were grateful to have this opportunity to teach these camps and learn something from their students themselves. Here are some quotes from two of our instructors:
Anjali Veerareddy said that this was a great learning experience and provided me with an outlet to share my knowledge of math with others. And Khushi Kumar said that I loved teaching others about a topic I am very passionate about. All the kids that attended my camp did a great job understanding all the concepts and applying them to their pictures. The class was fun and interactive, and it resulted in some beautiful pictures!
The camps offered ranged from Math camps for rising 5th graders, Algebra, some science camps, geared towards learning Advanced Placement Biology, a physics camp, a geography camp, a writing as well as programming camps which were specifically geared towards learning Java & Python; to other fun camps were our Rubik’s cube, chess, photography, crocheting camp and Yoga camp; also speech and debate camps; fine arts camps included guitar camp, an art camp and Bollywood camps.
The students who participated in these camps ranged from elementary school all the way to high school age kids. Not only students, but also their parents expressed their gratitude. Our summer camps were a huge success. We had two hundred and fifty participants from across the U.S.A. and raised a total of 4, 500 dollars. Approximately 264 children will be able to get an education and have their healthcare needs met out of this amount. Now that’s what is called success!!!”