H2O Summer Service Camp

The years of middle school are characterized by growing independence, emerging individual identity, social exploration, and CHANGE. One critical experience that kids can have to support this time of profound growth, to help them internalize compassionate thoughts and actions, and develop positive social connections is volunteering. Research supports the notion that the opportunity to serve others, and in turn to be valued within a community, is critical to youth development.

And we have just the experience! H2O Summer Service Camp has a 30-year tradition in Lakewood of enriching the lives of middle school students, providing memories that last a lifetime. We offer four sessions, which we hope accommodates scheduling around other summer plans. Each session brings together campers from across Lakewood, regardless of where they attend school. They are placed into groups of six with a counselor, and this is the foundation of their experience. The camp staff are a team of compassionate and talented leaders who dedicate their summer to providing the most fun and enriching experiences possible.

The service sites are planned to connect kids to their interests and passions, and to demonstrate how agencies across the region work to address community needs. H2O summer service partners include the Greater Cleveland Foodbank, Cuyahoga Valley National Park, Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank, Catholic Charities Migration and Refugee Services, LakewoodAlive, Cove Community Center/Department of Human Services, local daycares, Lakewood Earth and Food, the Lakewood Arts Festival, and more. Plus, we host our own massive Clothing Drive and Super Sale. In addition to amazing volunteer experiences with these agencies, we also feature speakers from groups affecting positive change in our world, and a theme (to be revealed when camp starts!)

The feedback from parents and campers alike is overwhelmingly positive. Last year, a camper wrote in her letter to a camp sponsor: “H2O has made me a changed person and will forever light the path for others. Ever since I made the decision to join H2O 3 years ago my heart has grown 100x the size. I don’t think anything has ever opened my eyes as much as H2O.” -Indigo, 2024.

Speaking of camp sponsors…thanks to generous community support and our organization’s fundraising events, the camp fees are just $80 with financial assistance available. Registration information and other camp details are available on H2O’s page on the City of Lakewood website, accessible through www.h2olakewood.org. Questions about Summer Service Camp or about H2O’s year-round high school volunteer programming can be sent to emmie.hutchison@lakewoodoh.net. Sign up now, as this camp fills every year!

H2O "Help to Others" is a youth volunteer program sponsored by the City of Lakewood’s Division of Youth Office. H2O receives tremendous support from the Lakewood City Schools, the Lakewood Foundation, generous donors and a dedicated group of adult volunteers.

Emmie Hutchison is the coordinator of H20.

Emmie Hutchison

H2O "Help to Others" is a youth volunteer program sponsored by the City of Lakewood’s Division of Youth Office. H2O receives tremendous support from the Lakewood City Schools, the Lakewood Foundation, generous donors and a dedicated group of adult volunteers.

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Volume 20, Issue 8, Posted 1:24 PM, 04.17.2024