Here is what Joe talked about in his letter to supporters, friends, families of our Gerald J. Ryan Outreach Center Summer Camp:
Thank you for all your advice, suggestions and referrals in response to my email regarding the bus situation. Following up on your contacts, we received multiple bids and selected We Transport for camp busing this year; the owner became personally involved, gave us a great rate and his management team has been very accommodating. The cost is a little more than budgeted but worth the dependable, no hassle, professional service. The campers have been going to the pools and having a fun time.
We are three weeks in and Summer Camp is going great! We are at capacity but will always take the special cases like homeless and shelter children; these are the children we want, so we can care for them. I will provide our homeless and shelter children stats in a few weeks.
A nice twist this year is our “Thursday is Fruitday”. We now purchase quality fruit from the Greenfield family-owned ShopRite store in Morton Village, Plainview, and have received donations from the UFCW Union Local 338 and Local RWDSU (RETAIL, WHOLESALE & DEPARTMENT STORE UNION) to help cover the cost. It is great to be able to give each camper fresh whole fruit as they leave for the day.
Naycha has the camp humming: a typical day includes breakfast, two hours of educational enrichment (i.e. reading, writing, math, science, social studies), arts/crafts, math, reading games and book reading. We serve a quality lunch then go outside to the parking lot where they play basketball, soccer, jump rope, hop scotch and other games. We also serve a good snack in the afternoon.
For some of the homeless children, this is their last meal of the day so we discreetly give them leftover food as they leave for the day, or other food sometimes at our own expense.
Other planned activities for the six weeks of camp include: trips to the North Lindenhurst Pool (twice a week), a movie (Despicable Me 3), a Carnival in the parking lot, White Post Farms and Roller Skating for the younger campers and for the older children, a day trip to Cedar Beach Marina and a boat day (marine biology) trip. We also host a SJB basketball clinic, crazy hat day, mismatch sock day, and Bring-a-poem in your pocket day.
We are taking the thirteen 4th grade girls for an ArtSea session; this is an art studio where they will paint a picture and take it home, check out what they do: https://www.artseastudios.com/
Thank you for the support. Our Wyandanch children, who you support, can just be children for six weeks and are having a blast.
Sincere Regards, Joe