Canoeing is a common activity at many summer camps, but what about volunteering at an animal shelter? At Camp E.D.G.E., Educate, Develop, Give, Experience, besides the normal fun stuff, campers learn life lessons like leadership, team building and volunteerism.
“When you go to the zoo or laser tag, there’s not much more that you get out of your day other than being out of the house,” said Sam Scott, a Counselor at Camp E.D.G.E. “We do volunteering, serving, team building, but we also get to do adventure stuff like canoeing. That’s what really separates us getting to do the fun stuff and going beyond with becoming role models.”
Camp E.D.G.E. is three, weeklong camps. Each session is different, combining fun in the sun with learning outside of the classroom.
When we caught up to the campers, they were learning team building by helping each other climb over a wall, and earlier in the week they volunteered at the Naperville Area Humane Society.
“We pet a lot of the dogs and played with the kittens,” said Peyton Metry, 12 years old.
“We do a ton of fun stuff and we help people. We help animals and all that. It makes you feel good that I help them,” said David Shefcik, age 11.
“It seems like it might be a little bit of a drag to the kids, especially when they knew we were picking up poop yesterday at the Humane Society, but after they got to play with some puppies they were all over it, hands and knees wiping up the kennel. It was awesome,” said Scott.
This is the second year for camp E.D.G.E., and while it has grown, many of the kids like the smaller size.
“Most of the other camps I’ve been to this summer and previous summers kind of are too large to function as a single unit like Camp E.D.G.E. does,” said Jakob Myers, age 14. “I think the size of Camp E.D.G.E. makes it easier to do the activities that we do since the scale doesn’t have to be as large. I’ve made so many great friends here at Camp E.D.G.E. that I’m really thankful to be here.”
While some of it is fun and games, at the end of the day, Camp E.D.G.E. is all about setting kids up for a lifelong passion in serving others.
“It’s all about balance and if we can teach them that at a really young age, I can’t wait to see where they’re at and what sort of resumes they have going into college. It’s just a great place to start,” said Scott.
Camp E.D.G.E. will have a session starting on June 24 and the final week beginning July 8.
Kids will be volunteering with the DuPage Children’s Museum and Feed My Starving Children, as well as fun activities like geocaching and visiting Starved Rock.
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