United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley hosted its 8th annual Youth Camp from Friday, February 17th – Sunday, February 19th.
Sponsored by Aflac, Youth Camp is a three-day event for seventh graders that allows them to tour several United Way partner agencies. This year, 21 students attended, representing 21 area schools.
The camp focuses on teaching students about homelessness and poverty. The students visited local agencies that work to resolve issues surrounding homelessness, including Open Door Community House (ODCH), Homeless Resource Network, MercyMed, Stewart Community Home, The House of T.I.M.E., and SafeHouse Ministries.
On Friday, students visited ODCH’s showering program for homeless individuals and separated donated toiletry items into containers and served meals to homeless individuals waiting to take a shower. They toured Homeless Resource Network and learned about the emotional hardships homeless individuals face. Students participated in a homeless simulation, which allowed them to experience some of the scenarios that homeless individuals face, and discovered what a long, difficult process it is. They toured MercyMed, a local clinic that provides healthcare to the uninsured and under-insured.
On Saturday, students learned about budgeting, and heard from speakers from Child Advocacy Center and Hope Harbour. They also toured SafeHouse Ministries and Stewart Community Home, and climbed the rock wall at the YMCA.
On Sunday, students went on a shopping trip to Walmart and shopped for items for partner agencies, while having to stick to a budget. Students graduated from Youth Camp in the ODCH auditorium in front of family and friends.