Summer camp is one of those iconic moments that every individual should experience at least once in their life. Camps create opportunities for kids to try new things, meet new friends, make lasting memories, and just straight up have fun outside! During such formative years it’s important that kids spend their summer doing the kind of fun and engaging activities that SOAR offers.
SOAR is a Summer Outdoor Art and Recreation day camp. It was created through Adventure Fayette County and the Fayette Prevention Coalition to keep kids 8-12 engaged during the summer. Our goal is to prevent early substance use by promoting self development through meaningful activities and interactions with positive role models. Our camp is held at the Fayette County Park for a six week duration- mid June throughout the end of July. Campers can choose to sign up for just one week or attend multiple weeks.
Campers participate in many traditional summer camp games – tag, capture the flag, scavenger hunts, and so on. They also rotate through stations to focus on art projects, sports & outdoor recreation, interactive/hands on stem and environmental education lessons, and relaxing activities such as yoga, reading and hammocking. Each day we provide campers with snack and opportunities for free time. The most exciting part of camp is our weekly field trips; campers visit a local adventure outfitter and try an adventure such as rock climbing, ziplining, paddling or biking! It’s important that kids have access to opportunities like these – to get outside and just be a kid. All of the camp activities we offer help campers to:
-develop decision making skills
-create healthy relationships with their peers
-increase physical activity
-eliminate screen time
-interact with positive role models
-develop important social skills
Parents reported that overall their kids seemed happier, slept better, and were better able to handle stress after attending SOAR. When asked to comment on their child’s camp experience one parent responded: “This was genuinely one of my daughter’s favorite things she’s ever done. We signed up our kiddo and her best friend who lives in the neighborhood. We went on vacation, and they both agreed that it was fun but they would have rather gone to Camp Soar that week. Wow! The girls cried when camp was over as they had made great friendships with the other kids and the counselors.”
Since this was our first year of Camp SOAR, a lot of kids weren’t sure what to expect when they arrived, but when they left they were excited to come back again. There was an overwhelming amount of children that asked to sign up for additional weeks after attending their first week of camp. Hearing that from the campers solidifies that we had a successful first year of SOAR! We’re really excited to see how the program will grow over the coming years and can’t wait to share more summer camp fun with Fayette County’s youth.
If you’d like to see some photo highlights from camp and stay up-to-date on any camp announcements, please follow our Facebook at SOAR-Fayette County.
Written by Shelby Holt, Camp S.O.A.R. Site Supervisor