July 24th 2009
Peter Mac Iver, a 16 year-old High School student from Baltimore that came with the work group from Faith Christian Fellowship, had to say:
When asked to write this review, I didn't know really what to say, so hopefully God will guide me in what to write. Our work group that came here to Camden is unique in two ways. We are visiting from Faith Christian Fellowship in Baltimore, MD. Most work group that come to urban promise to volunteer are larger groups, but are only a group of 7, including 4 students. We are also different in that many of the things we observed in Camden reminded us of the same problems that exist in Baltimore and the neighborhood around our urban church.
Personally, having been to Camden before in April with my school, I knew what to expect going in but the poverty didn't fail to shock me. I was skeptical to visit Camden for the second time because I didn't think it would be able to live to my amazing first trip to Camden. In retrospect, I'm glad that I decided to visit again as the trip has continued to solidify my sense of need in social justice.
My goal for this trip was to gather valuable information and quotes that could be used in a school newspaper article. Though there is no guarantee that my school will allow me to publish material that they feel is too "blunt" or "depressing." I feel that there is too much apathy in our society, especially in the white community which my school has a majority of, to the poor and socially marginalized. My hope is that my article is published, even if force is necessary, to bring awareness that injustice remains in Camden and there is a need for people to be aware of this and advocate work for a difference. To some heartless complacent people in my school, my article may seem stupid, but I find it necessary.
I was able to obtain lots of information at our panel forum with Tony and Miles. Their stories were compelling and the meeting remains a highlight of my trip. A downfall of the trip I would say would be the morning devotions. For some reason I didn't find them enjoyable and felt they were forced and random. Our typical schedule for the trip was morning devotions, the morning spent with children at various camps, and at work projects aka maintenance for Urban Promise in the afternoon. This opened up the evenings some days for free time if something was not scheduled at UP.
Overall, my experience at Up was very enjoyable and exceeded my expectations. All the UP staff was friendly. I'm still blown away by the maturity of the community youth that work at the camps and the behavior of the children themselves. I am glad I decided to return to the city of Camden, and will no doubt be back in the future.