With summer winding down and kids headed back to school, 25 Talbot Mentors students will be able to share summer camp experiences with their new classmates. The organization makes every effort each year to send as many of the kids in its program as possible to camp.
These efforts are aided by support from numerous individuals, organizations and the camps themselves. Among those sponsoring camperships this year were Elks Lodge No. 1622, which enabled Paul Baynard and Keontae Hubbard to attend Camp Barrettin Annapolis. A scholarship from Talbot County Arts Council allowed Jazmine Gibson to participate in the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) summer program.
Talbot Mentors students attended more than a dozen day and residential camps, ranging from nearby Pickering Creek Eco-Camp and Oxford Kids Camp to programs in Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and throughout Maryland, in addition to SCAD in Georgia.
The Talbot Mentors staff often aids students in finding specialty camps that fit their individual interests. Ty’Jrae Banks, Ke Gibson and Kyle Handy all spent a week at Wootten Basketball Camp at Frostburg StateUniversity, while DeAndre Dorsey attended summer band camp at James Madison University in Virginia.
Those interested in furthering their academics and the arts are also encouraged. Manisha Camper and Bethany Dixon both went to Math and Science Camp for Girls at Washington College. TyNiqua Brooksand Annanda Moaney participated in the Community Alliance for the Performing Arts SummerFame program at the Historic Avalon Theatre.
For many of these students, the summer programs are opportunities to be exposed to new experiences that they would not otherwise enjoy. Encouraged and supported by their mentors, they can find the camps opening up new possibilities in their lives or focusing them in new directions.
Jazmine Gibson’s interest in fashion and design led her mentor, Merrilie Ford, to encourage her to apply for the SCAD summer program, where she spent a week in Savannah studying mixed media and fashion and garment sketching.
Initially considering SCAD as a college destination, Gibson now thinks she would prefer a different style of campus from SCAD’s scattered urban layout. Summer camp experiences like these allow students to try out a potential path to see how it fits.
For Talbot Mentors, expanding students’ vision for their own future is all part of the program. Whether by sending kids to summer camps or by matching them with mentors who can help youths see the possibilities in themselves, the organization serves to broaden horizons for the children of Talbot County.
For more information, to make a contribution, or to volunteer as a mentor, call Talbot Mentors at 410-770-5999 or visit www.talbotmentors.org.