Not Your Usual Summer Camp

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The first day of camp is always exciting. The kids are eager for fun and ready to learn new things. For the group of middle-schoolers from across North Carolina attending Camp Challenge at the 4-H Education Center, it is more than that. It is a chance to prepare for a more successful life.

“What separates this camp from others is the populations we serve,” Tim Case, the Center's director told the Winston-Salem Journal.

Camp Challenge, which is sponsored by the North Carolina Bankers Association, gives more than 100 children from low-income households explore the world beyond their experience and neighborhoods. The boys and girls participating in the program at Vade Mecum Springs near Hanging Rock State Park, will share typical summer camp experiences, learning to fish, swim, ride a horse and paddle a canoe. As long summer days speed by, the kids will learn about themselves and each other while building new friendships. They will also learn about finances, entrepreneurship, using a computer, public speaking, and team-building. Skills that will help them succeed beyond camp and throughout their life.

“Some are usually upset in the beginning of the week because they miss being home, but then they are also crying at the end of the week because they don't want to leave,” camp counselor Sarah Blehm told the Winston-Salem Journal.

Camp Challenge is part of America's Promise, a collaborative network building on the collective power of communities to help young Americans.

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