Oasis summer camp is in its eighth and final week. The two grants we normally receive and expected to get this year did not materialize so we have been running camp on a very tight budget. We were still able to provide hot meals, pool trips every Tuesday, and field trips on Thursdays (theme parks, water parks, sports games, etc.) Over the years, we have found that it is vital to take the kids to these events to get them out of their negative environments.
Last Friday, I explained to the campers that we did not have enough money left in the budget to go to Six Flags Great Adventure this year. This was an enormous disappointment among the campers. The Six Flags trip is always the last trip of the year and the campers enjoy it thoroughly every time. We normally get there when it opens at 10:00am and leave when it closes at 10:00pm. The campers looked forward this event all summer but unfortunately this year it had to be cancelled. We gave the campers three alternatives for the last field trip. The decision of where to go was reached through a poll and the most popular destination was chosen.
Angeles, a new camper this year who will be going into the seventh grade, came to me later that Friday and shared her feelings with me. She said she had never been to Great Adventure and had been really looking forward to the trip, but she thanked me for all of the other things she was able to do this summer. One highlight of hers was going to the pool every Tuesday and getting better at swimming. Another highlight was going on all the Thursday field trips and experiencing new things and places. Listening to her share about her summer was a very humbling experience and it was so great to see a heart of gratitude and not one of entitlement. Even though we will not be able to go to Six Flags this year, this summer will still worth it because I was able to spend time with youth like Angeles.