BGCHarlem's Summer Day Camp Program, over six-weeks, provided a safe environment for kids, ages 5-12 to explore STEM, develop good health and wellness habits, and strong leadership skills.
All activities, on-site at our flagship clubhouse at the historic PS 186, adhered to all NYC, NYS, and CDC guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including daily temperature checks, limited class sizes, hand-washing education, social distancing signage, masks, sterilization, and more.
Activities Campers participated in, both on-site or virtually, filled the gap between school and home by providing a positive, welcoming environment where kids and teens can have fun, participate in life-changing programs, and build supportive relationships with peers and caring adults.
To kick off Summer 2020 Camp with a bang, all campers received a Summer Fun Kit filled with books, markers, crayons, hand sanitizer, a jump rope, pencils, bubbles, a mask, and more so that each Camper would be well prepared to participate in all summer activities, which included:
Fun Science Projects
Every Monday, Campers were presented with real-life opportunities to learn science and math in a fun way to spark their passion for a future career in a STEM field while showing them how STEM can benefit our society and even our world.
Summer Reading Book Club
For our Literacy Wednesdays, Campers maintained their reading skills while learning about Black female historical figures from the book, Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters in our 2020 Summer Book Club.
BGCHarlem would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the donation of our Summer 2020 Book Club books in our Summer Fun Kits for summer campers toward the amplification of Black voices through Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Books for Equity Initiative. Click here to learn more about HMH's Books for Equity Initiative.
Support Programming for Parents
COVID-19 affected our Campers and parents this year, with many parents having to take on the full responsibility of educating their student(s) 24/7 while facing the pandemic's social and economic realities.
Parents were invited to join BGCHarlem for Wellness Wednesdays, a virtual wellness group that gave BGCHarlem parents 30-minutes to relax, laugh, and share to support our parents and help them adjust to online learning come fall.
Healthy Lifestyle Development
Campers also built their character and learned how to be more mindful and centered through a series of workshops, discussion groups, meditations, yoga, and other interactive activities on-site and virtually to promote physical fitness, balance, self-regulating behaviors, positive engagement, and peer interaction.
With possible limited opportunities for play and exercise during the pandemic, we were keen to provide Campers with this level of emotional and physical self-care support.
Summer isn't fun without fun activities -- from freestyles to poems and creative cultural arts programming, campers were given opportunities for positive self-expression during our Fun Fridays. Creative expression also allowed our Campers to articulate their feelings and thoughts, think critically about their world, and practice visual communication.
Building Better Futures
Research shows that students usually lose a lot of the knowledge that they have gained throughout the school year. But throughout this summer, we made sure to stay engaged, keeping kids' skillset sharp while continuing to build character in the lives of tomorrow's leaders.
As fun as Summer Camp at BGCHarlem can be, our goal is to prepare Harlem's youth to impact tomorrow's world positively.
A large part of our work helps young children understand early on what it means to be part of something bigger than themselves.
Photos by Regina Fleming Photography