May 17th 2010
By KEVIN CALLAHAN • Courier-Post Staff • May 13, 2010
CAMDEN — Hassan Jackson used to attend the UrbanPromise Ministries summer camps. Now he works at the camp.
"It keeps me out of trouble being here at UrbanPromise," said Jackson, 18, who will graduate from the East Camden school in June with sights on attending college. "Everyone says I am a deep thinker. I credit that to UrbanPromise."
To help raise money for the summer camp programs, UrbanPromise will hold its first Wine Tasting and Auction on June 10 at the Camden County Boathouse at Cooper River.
In the last 25 years, UrbanPromise has grown from a small summer camp program into many programs, including private schools for kindergarten to grade 12 and after-school programs.
Jackson began attending the summer camp programs in first grade. Every summer until eighth grade, he joined about 450 children in Camden at seven sites around the city.
For the last four years, he has been one of 70 teens who work at the camps. The camps, which run in the morning through the summer, include art class, life skill class, recreation time and Bible study.
For Jackson, the camps were an extension of what he learned during the academic year attending the UrbanPromise school.
"I don't know where I would be if I wasn't here," said Jackson. "I might have fallen into the wrong track."
Andy Joshua, the children and youth ministry director at UrbanPromise, said the camps help the organization help children.
"We really want to provide a year-round program for kids to not only help them avoid trouble but to fill their lives with positive opportunities throughout the year," Joshua said.
Included in Joshua's job description is overseeing the summer camps. Joshua, 36, who has worked at UrbanPromise for 13 years, said five camp directors for this summer are alumni of UrbanPromise.
The camps are both indoor and outdoor and are located at local churches and community centers. The camps run from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Afternoon activities are available for the campers.
The programs, obviously, cost money.
"We run the programs pretty inexpensively, but at the same time we provide programs for 450 kids and pay 70 teens to work the camps," Joshua said. "We need some money to do that."
The wine tasting and auction should help with that.
Reach Kevin Callahan at (856) 317-7821 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
IF YOU GO
UrbanPromise's Wine Tasting and Auction is from 6 to 8:30 p.m. June 10 at the Camden County Boathouse at Cooper River. The cost is $50 each in advance; $65 at the door. Proceeds help Camden children participate in day camps, sports leagues, job training and more. To purchase tickets, visit http://www.urbanpromiseusa.org/winetasting.php
For more information, phone (856) 382-1865.