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Summer So Far

Just like that, we’re halfway through Promise Summer Camps! Summer so far has been jam packed with crafts, gaga ball matches and exciting field trips. Intertwined in the busy activities have been countless small wins, life lessons, and moments of connection like this one:

I was humming a song called La Vie en Rose and one of the kids from my small group recognized it from her mom, who used to play it during bedtime. She was so eager to learn the full song and all the lyrics that she spent the whole day memorizing it so that we could sing it together. We even got the harmonies down!

Rachel, Camp Leader

In this post, you’ll find selected snapshots to give you a window into the fun, friendship, and laughter from the first three weeks of camp. We hope you’ll be encouraged by these stories of kids experiencing summer camp here in the Downtown Eastside.

Week 1 - Art

Highlights
  • Micah & Madi (one of 2 sibling duos working at Promise this summer) teamed up to teach lessons on art concepts like character design, colour theory, and materials.

  • The kids got to visit the Vancouver Art Gallery on a field trip. Exhibits that stood out to them included a claymation movie demo and large paintings inspired by Chinese mythology.

  • One eleven-year-old girl asked Madi where she goes to school and asked her to write down the name (Emily Carr University of Art + Design) inside her notebook. She asked how old you have to be to go there and said she’d really like to one day, since Madi does and she likes her art.

Week 2 - Design & Architecture

Highlights
  • Beatrice helped the kids explore book design, group problem solving, and fashion design.
  • Local firm X Architecture led the kids in designing and building scale models of their dream homes. One 8-year-old boy designed a home with glass floors so visitors could see the water and lava flowing beneath.

  • The week culminated with a tie-dye fashion show: the kids cheered each other on as they walked the catwalk wearing shirts they had made. Every kid participated!

Week 2 - Design & Architecture

Highlights
  • Beatrice helped the kids explore book design, group problem solving, and fashion design.
  • Local firm X Architecture led the kids in designing and building scale models of their dream homes. One 8-year-old boy designed a home with glass floors so visitors could see the water and lava flowing beneath.

  • The week culminated with a tie-dye fashion show: the kids cheered each other on as they walked the catwalk wearing shirts they had made. Every kid participated!

Week 3 - Drama & Film

Highlights
  • Peace and Rachel guided the kids through storyboarding, scriptwriting, and filming techniques. Each group produced a short film on iMovie to share with their peers.

  • We traveled by school bus to Granville Island for a workshop with The Improv Centre! Afterwards we had lunch at the park and played a thrilling spy game, where the kids protected Queen Peace and the magic feather from the scheming leaders.

  • To cap off film week, our young filmmakers were celebrated with a movie premiere and awards ceremony, complete with a red carpet!

These stories are just a sliver of what’s happened already at summer camps this year. Each day has been packed with enriching activities like gym games, small group time, tasty and nutritious lunches, and countless laughs and conversations.

Leading up to the start of camps, thirty individuals, including 13 first-time donors, invested in Downtown Eastside youth by covering the cost of activities and excursions for all 180 camp spots. The generosity of these supporters – and of our committed monthly givers – makes transformational camp experiences possible for these kids.

If you haven’t already done so, there are still opportunities to make a difference in a child’s life this summer. With activities & outings already covered, your gift this summer helps provide the Promise kids with dedicated, caring leaders and daily lunches & snacks.

What Comes Next

Our final three camp themes this summer include Food Week, where the kids are learning how to make their own lunch from the chefs at A Better Life Foundation; Sports Week, where they’ll learn soccer skills from members of the Vancouver Whitecaps; and Adventure Week, where they’ll get to visit popular tourist sites around town like The Polygon Gallery, Stanley Park, and Fly Over Canada!