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Annual GHC Foundation Camp continues to make a positive impact on local at-risk young men

Rome, GA ĖMay 22, 2014

The annual Foundation Camp at Georgia Highlands College has been making a difference in the local community for nine years, thanks to the partnership with the 100 Black Men of Rome-Northwest Georgia, and donations from people local businesses and citizens. This year, June 2-14, GHC will give 120 boys and young men, ages 10-14, a positive experience on the GHC campus in Rome all at no cost to the campers.

At the Foundation Camp, campers spend time on the Georgia Highlands campus, in academic classes taught by college professors, and in personal development sessions conducted by area leaders. They play sports using the campus facilities, and college students work with them as their camp counselors. Campers learn self-respect, confidence, motivation, and teamwork. Through the Foundation Camp, at-risk young men see that high school graduation and college are possible and even likely, if they follow the right path. Once the camp is over, contact is maintained with campers by monitoring grades, mentoring, and stepping in to help when needed.††††††

The camp relies on donations to keep it going. While the instructors donate their time, there are still significant essential costs, including two meals a day and transportation for 120 campers. Over the last nine years, the foundation camp has served 1002 campers, provided 20,040 free meals, 2000 hours of instructional time, 16,000 free transportation miles, 3,240 volunteer hours, and 110 jobs for GHC students.

The Foundation Camp was created out of the ashes of the federally-funded National Youth Sports Program, which lost its funding in 2005. That program, which GHC had run for more than 30 years, had been extremely successful, resulting in numerous personal stories of triumph and achievement. Many camp alumni returned to serve as counselors. Key stakeholders at GHC and in the community didnít want to see resources withdrawn from a population who might not otherwise be exposed to the opportunities that college and a wider world afforded. The 100 Black Men of Rome and Northwest Georgia stepped up as a partner to run the program with GHC. Businesses in the community that saw broader benefits to the greater Rome area provided funding.

The first Foundation Camp served 25 campers for five days. Today it has grown to more than 100 campers who attend for two weeks.

Page last updated: May 23, 2014