November 30, 2023

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Camp Give empowers kids to give back to community

EVENDALE, Ohio — When the kids at a small summer camp in Evendale look back on their week, they’re not just thinking about the fun times, they’re reflecting on everything they learned about serving the community.

What You Need To Know

  • Camp Give teaches kids in fifth through ninth grades about what it means to be a philanthropist
  • The kids are taught three main ways to contribute to a community as a philanthropist — through time, talent and treasure
  • Kids are taken to nonprofits and participate in craft activities

Camp Give teaches kids in fifth through ninth grades about what it means to be a philanthropist.  

“A philanthropist is someone who gives back to the community,” said Avi, a boy who has been coming to the camp for the past five years.

He explained the three main ways to contribute to a community as a philanthropist — through time, talent and treasure.

“Time is you’re giving part of your day up to help and volunteer,” Avi said. “Talent is like if you’re really good at art or sports, you could use those to help the community and treasure is like giving money to people and stuff to help them run their nonprofit and stuff.”

Magnified Giving, the nonprofit that brings the kids together, developed the philanthropy model. The organization gives back $50 from each camper’s tuition so they can donate it to local nonprofits.

Camp organizers took the kids on field trips to check out local charities and learn about causes they can support. Campers visited New Life Furniture Bank and A Child’s Hope International.

 “When we go to places, I get like even more grateful because I didn’t realize how easy I have it and how people are out there struggling,” said a camper named Hana.

“I feel lucky that I am at this camp that I have a roof over my head and I get fed every day,” said another camper named Louise. “I don’t have to wonder where my next meal is coming from, like some kids do.”

Avi tries to take a positive approach to what he learns about poverty and homelessness.

“It makes me sad for the people who are in those hard situations but also happy that we’re helping them,” he said.

Not all parts of the camp are that intense. Kids also get a healthy dose of creating crafts, but with a twist.

“At Camp Give, we like to incorporate regular camp activities but we also ensure that they have meaning and purpose behind them,” said Alison Kaufman, director of programs. “So when we paint a birdhouse, it’s also their opportunity to express what social cause or what they see in our community happening that is of concern to them.” 

One camper decorated the house with images of fire and burned trees to call attention to global warming. Another painted a rainbow birdhouse to call for inclusion.

“The camper was representing her desire for people to be accepted for who they are, what they believe, and who they love,” Kaufman said.

Other projects included painting rocks for a group called One in Five that focuses on mental health and decorating piggy banks for families at the Ronald McDonald House.

“We weren’t just painting, there’s always a meaning behind everything that we do,” said a camper named Julianna. “That’s just really special.”

Julianna and the others leave Camp Give with some memories of fun times and also learning some important life lessons about giving back.

“I’ve never volunteered before this camp,” Julianna said. “But even after this camp ends, I’m still going to volunteer now because it just made feel really happy and feel really good.”