By Michael Osborne
With the help of a local nonprofit, 46 deserving children attended camp this summer. Whether it was baking a cake, shooting jump shots, or performing Broadway show tunes, it wouldn’t have happened without The Scott-Free Scholarship Foundation. In just their second year, Scott-Free provided local at-risk children with spots at 22 different camps. All together, Scott-Free sent kids to over 600 days of summer camp this year.
The philosophy of Scott-Free is simple. Give a child a chance to explore their own talents and they will begin to realize their full potential. It starts with a week at camp, but it doesn’t end there. If the child puts forth effort to actively participate in their progress, they can be considered for camp the next summer as well. Scott-Free had six returning campers from last year, their first summer.
Scott-Free relies on camp partnerships and private donations to provide these opportunities. The second annual Scott Free Event will be held on September 26th at the Woodbine Equestrian Center in Raleigh. The country-western themed night will include catering courtesy of The Umstead Hotel & Spa, a silent art auction and raffle giveaways. Local country band 40 North will perform and New York music producer 100 dBs will be the event DJ. There will also be a Texas Hold-Em poker tournament. Proceeds will allow the opportunity for even more kids to explore their full potential at camps in 2010.
Scott-Free sends kids to a variety of camps, including ones that focus on the arts. This summer they sent two children to a performing arts camp in Vermont. The NC Theatre Camp in Raleigh was also a camp partner.
Returning Scott-Free campers Wyatt and Carter, age 15, spent their second consecutive summer in Vermont. The Green Mountain Music Camp, whose program includes voice, orchestra, and theatre for kids, is hosted at the Southern Vermont College. The campus sits in a beautiful natural surrounding with mountains on each side, a short walk from Lake Champlain.
The twins have been playing the violin since the age of four, but they took things to a new level this summer. “This year’s camp experience was much more intense. My teacher expected a lot more from me and it caused me to work harder and focus more than ever before. It was more rigorous than last year not because I practiced more, but because I focused more,” said Carter.
Carter said the atmosphere of camaraderie was his favorite aspect of camp. The group lessons and practice sessions were a special source of motivation. “You are expected to practice four hours each morning. When practice time rolls around, you hear everyone else getting better. It motivates you to become better.”
After camp, Carter told his mother, “I could see that I am capable of so much more than I knew, both musically and academically. The kids at camp were focused. They were already committed to their plans for the next four to eight years. I want to do more this year.”
Brittany, a rising high school freshman from Wake Forrest, went to the NC Theatre Camp in late June via Scott-Free. She has been involved in theatre since a young age and performed in her school’s production of “Oliver” last year in the role of Beth. At NCT, Brittany and her fellow campers focused on more difficult material with the music pieces from the Broadway musical “Hair”.
Brittany said she enjoyed the challenging songs and meeting new friends who were interested in theatre. “I met people from all different places, even a girl from Cambodia. It was a lot of fun”.
Khala, a rising high school sophomore, was able to attend two camps this summer through Scott-Free. Because of her interest in science and math, Khala attended the Summer Scholars day camp at NCSU.
Khala’s second summer camp moved her focus from textbooks to cookbooks. At Classy Kids Cook in Cary, Khala joined about 30 fellow campers in introductory cooking classes. The theme of the week was French cuisine. Khala’s favorites were the French crepes and soufflé. At the end of the week, the campers were divided into teams for an Iron Chef, kid’s style, cook-off.
Kheemia said her daughter went straight to the kitchen and displayed her new skills after camp. “She even showed me the proper way to slice an onion.”
These children would not have been able to attend the camps without the help of Scott-Free.
Scott-Free gives children the opportunity to enhance already identified talents. Camps provide lasting experiences that impact both their present and future. You can help Scott-Free support our children by attending the Scott-Free event on September 26th. Read more about how to get involved at www.Scott-Free.org