H2O Summer Service Experience

H2O Staff next to camp banner at the entrance to Lakewood Park

To say the least, these past few months have not been what any of us were used to. As members of the Lakewood community we felt the loss of the many things that we hold dear-- seeing the seniors dressed up for prom take pictures at Lakewood Park, a graduation ceremony, LakewoodAlive concerts in front of the library, tents lined up along Detroit for the Lakewood Arts Festival, and of course The Lakewood Project playing on the Fourth of July followed by the fireworks.

We have grieved these losses, but we have also adapted. For the City of Lakewood’s H2O “Help to Others” youth program, this meant not letting our Summer Service Camp traditions fade. We worked hard at figuring out how to convert our unique camp to an online experience while keeping as much of the camp magic as possible. We have kept our days of reading and playing games with preschoolers at a local daycare and playing Bingo with the seniors of Lakewood, now all just over Zoom! While keeping as many traditions as possible, we have also added a few new service projects related to the census and getting out the vote, two topics that most middle school students are not very familiar with. And don’t you worry, you still have the opportunity to get your counselor PIED! 

Though it is not the camp we know and love, in some ways it is even more special this summer as we find a way to stay connected through these challenging times. This is what led us to our theme: Pieces of the Puzzle, Parts of the Whole. To us this was the perfect way to summarize that though we are much more separated than we’d like, we are all still crucial parts to our community. Without our campers there would be no H2O and without H2O Lakewood would not be the same. To represent this, we have placed our banner presenting our theme at the entrance to Lakewood Park. We hope that this will give passers-by a reason to smile and let them know that H2O will always find a way to remain connected with our community. We would love it if our campers or any of our supporters visited our banner and sent us a picture of you there or gave us a shout-out on social media, extra points if you’re wearing an H2O t-shirt! 

H2O has done our best to create a fun experience for campers during this unprecedented time, but what is most important to us is staying connected, still getting to send off our ninth graders to high school, still coming up with inside jokes among groups, still seeing our campers smile even if it is through a screen. Though there is much uncertainty, we are comforted by the fact that one way or another all of us, each piece of the puzzle, can come together to create the whole. 

Grace LaDue is a Lakewood High School graduate. She will be a junior at Ohio University in the fall. This is Grace's third year on staff with H2O Summer Service Camp and she is currently the Head Counselor.

Grace LaDue

Grace LaDue is a Lakewood High School graduate. She will be a junior at Ohio University in the fall. This is Grace's third year on staff with H2O Summer Service Camp and she is currently the Head Counselor

Read More on City
Volume 16, Issue 15, Posted 4:08 PM, 08.05.2020