Sharing Sleepaway Camp with Underprivileged: SCOPE Club

By Ellie Reinhardt

Camp. It is so much more than a place with your best friends; it is an indescribable feeling that I am forever grateful for. Many people on the outside may not understand the allure of sleepaway camp, but people who experience it can attest to how amazing the experience is. To have the opportunity to live in a carefree escape for seven weeks with no worries is something many children in our town take for granted. Children who live in underserved communities do not necessarily have the access to such luxuries; however, they would truly benefit from having them. Luckily, SCOPE (Summer Camp Opportunities Promote Education) is an organization that strives to give all children the opportunity to experience summer camp.

SCOPE provides children in unprivileged communities with life-changing opportunities through the experience of summer camp. Children in those communities who commit to staying in school are granted “camperships” to nonprofit, resident camps which allow them to develop to their full potential. SCOPE’s goal is to make summer camp accessible to as many deserving children as possible.

I, among three other students, have decided to establish a chapter of this organization at our school. Our club’s goal is to fundraise money to give children this life-changing experience of camp. We plan to do this through many bake sales throughout the year and drives for simple camp necessities such as flashlights, sunscreen, and water bottles. We then eventually want to create the first ever annual walk of SCOPE. Sophomore Ella Gitler, one of the four co-founders of our club states, “An individual can make a huge difference in the lives of so many kids through small donations that add up in support of SCOPE.” Consider this: if thirty kids were to ask ten family members or close friends for just ten dollars, each individual would accumulate one hundred dollars and there would be three thousand dollars in total; that is enough to send over two kids to camp.

Camp is so much more than you can possibly think of. It’s the feeling of going to bed with your best friends surrounding you, and then waking up the next day to the sun shining and that distinct smell of the camp air. There is truly not a better feeling than looking around and seeing all of the people you love the most with smiles from ear to ear as you belt your heart out with songs you scream around camp. I am eternally grateful to have these lifelong friendships that I know will last forever and to be able to come back to my second home year after year. Sophomore Hallie Remnitz describes her camp friends as, “The people you can not see for ten months and you can pick up right where you left off.” Every child deserves this amazing experience that you can only get by going to summer camp. Juniors Rachel Chernoff and Joely Coviello, two of the other co-founders of the club, both agree that “SCOPE gives kids opportunities to try new things they have never tried before and an experience they wouldn’t otherwise be able to enjoy.” Knowing that our participation in our community will result in children having the experience of a lifetime is incredibly rewarding already.