Teen volunteers put on camp for low-income kids

For children from low income families, enjoying the perks of summer can sometimes be hard.  This summer, one group of young volunteers is trying to change that.

They're Lincoln's Youth Volunteers, a subgroup of volunteer programs that has been working since last Christmas for a grant to use for summer camps.  After finally receiving it, they're using the money to help needy children in the community.

For the kids attending, camp is an opportunity not often had because they come for low income or homeless households.

Marya Case-Ruchala, one of Lincoln's Youth volunteers, says the opportunity is even more important for kids in this demographic because of a long summer vacation.  “Compared to the other countries, we lose so much of the information that we store until the next year starts.  That's especially true for low income kids because kids with the money to go to camps and educational programs and they actually improve their scores.”

So in order to even the playing field, the high school-aged volunteers put together an educational, week long summer camp for children that may other wise never have the opportunity to go.  Even better, the camp revolves all around healthy habits and nutrition.  Marya says, “we just got done with making goals for themselves.  'I will never smoke a cigarette, I'll never drink beer.'”

It's not just educational, there's also a lot of exercise and fun involved in the camp.  Camper Aidan Bad Moccasin says, “I get to see my friends, then I get to make new friends and it's pretty fun making new friends.”

Lincoln Youth Volunteers is in need of more high schoolers to get involved with their program.

If you want to get involved or help out the group, call Volunteer Partners at 402-435-2100 or visit 1-800-volunterer.org