Summer Camp was started in the summer of 1991 by Rev. Janet Ott, founder of Stewpot Children Youth Services, to fill the needs of neighborhood children flocking to Stewpot around lunchtime. Wanting to give them a safe, loving environment to call their own, she started summer camp in a field across the street from the original Stewpot building. With just a ball, a cooler full of popsicles and her children and friends to help, the Stewpot Recreational Summer Camp became a reality. The program, which started with little more than 30 children, has now grown to more than 200 children each summer.
Most of our campers would be spending the long, hot summer days alone at home or in the streets if it wasn’t for Stewpot Summer Camp. We provide a place for them that’s safe and exciting. Campers participate in at least one field trip a week at no cost to their parents. Campers are also provided a light breakfast, two snacks and a nutritious lunch every day. Some are even sent home with extra food on Fridays to make sure they have enough throughout the weekend for themselves and their families. Mini Art Camps and Sports Camps allow them to explore their creativity and, of course, have fun. Book Clubs and garden projects even sneak a little learning in through the summer.
A staff of 25 or more senior high and college-aged young people are hired to work the seven-week camp. Staff undergo a training period, emphasizing safety and engagement with campers while making sure all campers know they’re safe, cared for and loved. Campers participate in a wide variety of activities throughout the summer and their counselors are right there with them participating and encouraging them all the way.
Stewpot works hard to keep costs to a minimum. At $300 per child — comparably a steal — many still parents cannot afford to pay for their child. Stewpot relies on donations and sponsors to be able to provide this much needed service to the families of west Jackson. It costs $75,000 to run Summer Camp for 7 weeks and keep 200 kids off the streets and in a safe, nurturing environment.
Because they live in the poorest community in the Metro area many of them rarely leave the confines of their neighborhoods. Summer Camp becomes their portal to the world. Field trips to local museums, parks, movies, sporting events and plays broaden their worldview and expose them to new ideas.
Please consider sponsoring a child for Summer Camp TODAY! Your donation will change the life of a child.
At a glance, what your donation provides for a camper —
- Weekly field trips to museums, parks, plays, community events
- Arts mini-camps
- Sports camps
- Planting and growing a teaching garden
- Learning about nutrition and health with Organ Wise
- Planning and cooking nutritious snacks and meals
- Reading and math enrichment through book clubs and STEAM
Summer Camp Days
Each day the children and teens meet on the front steps of Stewpot Community Center. Campers and counselors visit, laugh, sing songs and take attendance before the Pre-K-5th grade campers head to the “HUT” to begin their day, while the 6th-10th grade campers go to the Community Center. Campers are served breakfast, lunch and two light snacks each day.
Elementary Camp Program
The program serves children from Pre-K–5th grade. Camp days are filled with different crafts, field trips, sports, recreational activities, playtime, reading and more as engaged staff participate in every aspect of what the children are doing each day.
For more information: Shamberi Horton at (601) 353-2759
Secondary Camp Program
This program serves teens in the summer from ages 11-15. Summer camp for teens consists of teaching life-skills, field trips in and out of town, sports, handcrafts, book clubs, cooking classes, in and outside activities and more. Involved and committed staff focus on making sure the teens remain engaged.
For more information: Yolanda Kirkland (601) 353-2759
2016 Summer Camp – June 6 – July 21
Mon-Thurs – 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Elementary Camp – Pre-K-5th
Secondary Camp – 6th-10th grade
Summer Camp needs
glue sticks (any size)