This summer will be busy with a new season for our family. And we are glad.
This will be our first full summer in Greenville in 5 years, and there is no doubt that that 2015 is very different than 2010. Five years ago, we had a house with a neighborhood pool, our kids went to a week of VBS, and we spent a lot of time with friends. (Of course, since I was a children’s pastor, summer was very busy.)
All of those are fine and well, but now we are in a new season. Part of the change is because our kids are older: Hannah (about to enter high school!) was our youngest’s age when we last lived in Greenville. And part of the change is that our focus is very different.
This summer, Hannah will be busy working her first real job, and for the first time ever, we will be assisting with (but not in charge of) a summer camp for local children.
We are super-thrilled that our daughter was selected to work with Mill Village Farms summer job program. About fifteen teenagers (from diverse backgrounds) will come together to learn job skills, form new friendships, and (of course) earn some much-needed money. (And programs like this have been shown to help keep high-risk youth from making bad choices.)
Some of these teens have worked with Mill Village this spring, or last summer. And some, like my Hannah, are new to their organization, besides volunteer opportunities. This job program is in its fourth year of existence. Your support of Mill Community Ministries (and Mill Village Farms) makes this program possible.
Beginning in mid-June, my wife and I will be assisting with a summer camp for younger children. Long Branch Baptist Church has been running half-day summer camps for several years. However, this year they are expanding to a full-day program in order to better serve families.
This camp will include lots of recreation, educational (and fun!) enrichment, field trips, and more! We are excited that at least half of our Clubhouse Kids will be able to participate. More than that, all of these children are benefiting from generous donations and scholarships (the cost of camp is $400 — a bargain for an 8-week program, but out of the price range for many local families). In order to stretch the scholarship money, and to give people individual buy-in, families are asked to cover part of the cost, and the donated money will supplement the rest.
Finally, I will be working with teenagers this summer, again in partnership with Long Branch Baptist Church. This program will be related to the Powered for Life program that we are finishing up with (graduation on Wednesday). We will help these youth develop the job skills needed for a successful career.
Classes will meet semiweekly, in the afternoons during June, though we may switch to mornings in July (based on facility availability).
Your turn . . . . Does your family have summer plans?