Introducing the 2017 Interns!

This summer, seventeen young people will take on big responsibilities at both Sawyerville Day Camp and the Yellowhammer Learning Program. These interns will do everything from plan field trips and teach chess to serve meals and register campers.

We can’t wait to welcome this crew in May! Continue reading for fun facts about our interns like who wanted to be Dr. Phil when they grew up and who dreams of being an Olympic curler!

Processed with VSCO with a5 presetAdelaide Cochran

Lower Camp Co-Coordinator

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

School: Wake Forest University

Olympic sport of choice: Curling

Childhood ambition: Zookeeper

Looking forward to: The kids and hot pockets.

IMG_0110Anna Klopack

YLP Field Trip and Supplies Coordinator

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

School: Auburn University

Olympic sport of choice: Trampolining

Childhood Ambition: Art therapist

Looking forward to: Fighting summer learning loss in the sweet Greensboro heat!

Processed with VSCO with a5 presetAnne Douglass Williams

Middler Camp Co-Coordinator

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

School: University of Alabama

Olympic sport of choice: Swimming

Childhood ambition: Veterinarian

Looking forward to: Witnessing the miracles God has in store for us this summer.

11245814_938856886171686_1013673358457816366_oBreanna Mitchell

Upper Camp Co-Coordinator

Hometown: Hollywood, AL

School: University of Alabama

Olympic sport of choice: Track and field

Childhood ambition: Doctor

Looking forward to: Being a part of a growing ministry that is changing the lives of many children every year!

CarolineMauldinCaroline Mauldin

SDC Camper Registrar

Hometown: Alpharetta, GA

School: University of Alabama

Olympic sport of choice: Basketball

Childhood ambition: Veterinarian

Looking forward to: Getting to know both the campers and the staff as well as getting the opportunity to be a part of the ministry and camp!

DuncanManleyDuncan Manley

Middler Camp Co-Coordinator

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

School: Washington and Lee University

Olympic sport of choice: Bobsledding

Childhood ambition: Astronaut

Looking forward to: Reuniting with former campers and making memories with new ones

IMG_0081Ella O’Neill

SDC Staff Registrar

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

School: Auburn University

Olympic sport of choice: Skiing

Childhood ambition: A mom

Looking forward to: Mornings at camp, with coffee, camp cheers, and fresh faced campers ready to soak up the beauty of God’s creation.

IMG_1665Emily Hooker

SDC Staff Registrar

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

School: University of Alabama

Olympic sport of choice: Table tennis

Childhood ambition: Veterinarian

Looking forward to: Seeing all my favorite people again and spending the summer in my fav place, also hot pockets.

2406DEA5-56CF-46D4-B715-12DF273F56DAFaith Bryant

SDC Camper Registrar

Hometown: Sawyerville, AL

School: Alabama A&M University

Olympic sport of choice: Volleyball

Childhood ambition: Registered nurse

Looking forward to: Meeting new faces and seeing all of the smiles and happiness from each camper.

13692810_1268415146526821_3931299144119143043_o-e1488848840734.jpgKathryn Oakes

YLP Chess Teacher

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

School: University of Alabama

Olympic sport of choice: Figure skating

Childhood ambition: Jewelry maker

Looking forward to: Being a part of this super cool ministry and getting the sweet kiddos excited about learning!

img_0150.jpgKatie Timmons

SDC Communications Assistant

Hometown: Fishers, IN

School: University of Alabama

Olympic sport of choice: Gymnastics

Childhood ambition: Veterinarian

Looking forward to: I can’t wait to work with the campers and see them grow in their faith and love for our sweet Jesus.

IMG_6477Margaret Doody

Upper Camp Co-Coordinator 

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

School: University of Georgia

Olympic sport of choice: Snowboarding

Childhood ambition: Fashion designer

Looking forward to: Making relationships with staff and campers and being there for these sweet kids all summer!

Meredith 2Meredith Stringfellow

YLP Communications Assistant

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

School: Texas Christian University

Olympic sport of choice: Soccer

Childhood ambition: Fire fighter

Looking forward to: Getting to see and work with YLP for the first time!!

img_3191.jpgOlivia Chew

SDC Meals and Supplies Assistant

Hometown: Birmingham, AL

School: Auburn University

Olympic sport of choice: Race walking

Childhood ambition: Astronaut

Looking forward to: Everything! I can’t wait to witness the power of God in this community and the unconditional love this ministry has to offer. I am also looking forward to being a part of this staff and to see my old campers and meet new ones.

FB_IMG_1471062194714Robert Hunter

Lower Camp Co-Coordinator

Hometown: Greensboro, AL

School: Shelton State

Olympic sport of choice: Volleyball

Childhood ambition: Doctor

Looking forward to: Having fun with the campers and staff to help make SDC 2017 an everlasting memory.

FullSizeRenderTy’Nedra Edwards

YLP Student Registrar

Hometown: Greensboro, AL

School: University of South Alabama

Olympic sport of choice: Track and field – shot put or the 100m

Childhood ambition: Relationship psychotherapist- a female version of Dr. Phil

Looking forward to: Working with YLP for the first time, getting to see the campers, and, of course, hanging with this elite team.

VirginiaThorntonVirginia Thornton

YLP Meals Assistant

Hometown: Decatur, AL

School: University of Richmond

Olympic sport of choice: Badminton

Childhood ambition: Doctor

Looking forward to: Campers!!!, staff cheer, Greensboro, pie lab, catfish sandwiches

Work Ready Workshop

What was your very first job? Maybe you babysat or mowed lawns. Maybe you worked at a fast food restaurant or a movie theater. Whatever it was, you should be proud of it! Getting your first job can be a tricky process. That’s why Sawyerville Day Camp hosted our first ever Work Ready Workshop.

On Saturday, March 11th, students from Greensboro High School who have either served on staff or attended camp as a camper, joined us for a full day devoted to learning how to apply for a job, succeed in an interview, and even get promoted.

Click here to see a short video about the Work Ready Workshop

Tracie Bates from the Tuscaloosa Career Center shared the do’s and don’ts of filling out an application and dressing for the part. She also brought applications from dozens of local employers and invited the students to write their own pocket resumes.

Thomas Goldsmith, Director of Admissions at the Altamont School, talked about the importance of a good first impression, how the little things like a strong handshake and sitting up straight can really add up in your favor.

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Patrick George, the Career Coach at Greensboro High School, offered tips on how to impress employers in an interview and how to answer that not-so-simple question, “Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?”

Finally, Charlie Stevens, from Thompson Tractor, concluded the program with advice on how to be a great employee, one who gets promoted. He talked to the students about the importance of being responsible and taking initiative.

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The students left the workshop with a certificate that states they have successfully completed the Sawyerville Day Camp Work Ready Program and have earned the distinction “Certified Work Ready.” They’re off to do great things!

100% of participants said that the workshop was “very helpful” and that they would recommend the workshop to a friend. One student said the most important thing she learned was “to be engaged, ask questions, and to be calm” in an interview.

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This event was made possible by lots and lots of wonderful and generous volunteers! Besides all the amazing speakers, several people from different business backgrounds sat alongside the students and answered their questions and helped them create their pocket resumes. Volunteers from St. Mary’s on-the-Highland’s, Birmingham, and St. Paul’s, Greensboro provided breakfast, lunch, and a snack for all participants. Others donated ties for the male students to take with them. This was truly a community effort, and we’re so thankful for everyone’s support!

We’re especially grateful to the Work Ready Workshop’s planning committee – Kay Donnellan, chair, Liz Edwards, Lisa Miller, and Charlie Stevens. Thank you for your dedication and creativity!

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Click here to see a short video about the Work Ready Workshop

Person 2 Person 2017

This past weekend was the inaugural Person 2 Person, a three-day event in Montgomery where Sawyerville Day Camp staff talked about race. One of Sawyerville Day Camp’s goals is to help improve race relations in Alabama; this event did just that.

Over the course of the weekend, the group traveled to the Rosa Parks Museum, the Equal Justice Initiative, and the Freedom Rides Museum, and worshipped at Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, where Martin Luther King, Jr. was once the pastor. Outside of the field trips, we talked about the difference between stereotyping, discrimination, and racism; unpacked privilege and internalized oppression; told stories of times when we experienced or witnessed discrimination; and learned about the current situation in Standing Rock, ND and how indigenous people have been oppressed in the past. Together, we had deep conversations, revisited history, prayed, and dreamed.

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Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church

During worship on Saturday night, the group took some time to reflect on Dr. King’s dream as well as our own. Here are some of the responses:

What’s your dream for Alabama?

  • To take responsibility for our past and intentionally work together towards a more open, loving, and accepting state.
  • To openly talk about our past and work towards a more inclusive future.
  • For Alabama to become a place known for how well we welcome strangers and how gracefully we admit our wrongdoings and change our ways.

What’s your dream for your hometown?

  • Racially and economically diverse school systems so that every student has equal opportunities.
  • To understand our privilege and learn how we can eliminate that privilege by empowering other communities in our state.
  • More diverse political beliefs, increased open-mindedness, progress in racial issues and others.

What’s your dream for Sawyerville Day Camp?

  • A permanent facility/institution that can continue to educate, help, and grow both staff and campers.
  • Our own space, integration, and continue spreading love amongst each other and the Black Belt community.
  • A permanent facility and more diverse staff. More intentional race-based discussions.
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Dreaming at St. John’s Episcopal Church

This group had a great conversation about ways to make the staff community at camp even more inclusive. We’re looking forward to putting their ideas into action this summer.

If you weren’t able to participate in Person 2 Person this year, don’t worry, the event will happen again next year. Go ahead and mark your calendar for MLK weekend!

We’re so thankful to all of the people and groups who helped make Person 2 Person possible! Thank you to:

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To see more photos by Allison Kendrick, check out the Facebook album.

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’

– Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Person 2 Person: SDC Staff Talks About Race

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Sawyerville Day Camp works to accomplish three goals: 1) to serve God and the church through outreach 2) to broaden the horizons of campers and counselors 3) to improve race relations in Alabama. With that third goal in mind, Sawyerville Day Camp will host a new event called Person 2 Person for high school juniors and seniors over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Montgomery. Those who have staffed SDC before are invited to join us!

At Person 2 Person, we’ll learn more about the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama, and we’ll take field trips to the Civil Rights Memorial, the offices of the Equal Justice Initiative, and the Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church. We’ll talk about race in Alabama, our own experiences of race, and how we can improve race relations through Sawyerville Day Camp.

Please apply to participate by January 4th. There is no fee for attending this event, and meals are included. Questions? Email Crystal at cjones@dioala.org.

 

Giving Tuesday 2016

Tomorrow, November 29th is Giving Tuesday!

After Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday is a day to give to others.

The are three ways to participate in Giving Tuesday with Sawyerville Day Camp: give thanks, give time, and give money.

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We’re collecting answers to the question “Why are you thankful for Sawyerville Day Camp or the Yellowhammer Learning Program?” Tell us why you’re thankful through this easy online form.

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You can give your time by writing prayer partner letters that will be given to a volunteer staff member this summer. This is a great way to be connected to the camp if you can’t be there in person. Read the instructions here.

If you’re in the Birmingham area, come visit us at the Abbey on Tuesday – we’ll have letter-writing supplies ready for you!

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As always, your contribution will go directly to our free summer programs for children and youth in Hale County. This is a great time to consider making your year-end gift. Give online here.

How will you give to others on Giving Tuesday?

Oh When the Saints Go Marching In

We are so grateful to count the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama and many, many parishes among the supporters of Sawyerville Day Camp. For years, roughly 60% of the Diocese’s parishes have supported the camp. Imagine what we could accomplish together if 100% of parishes were involved. What if the saints went marching into Greensboro?

With this question in mind, for Summer 2017, we’re looking at parish participation in a new way, and we’re asking parishes to give together to sponsor one day of camp. For example, we’ll ask all three parishes named St. Mary’s (Birmingham, Jasper, and Childersburg) to pool their resources to support St. Mary’s Day at Sawyerville Day Camp. Sponsoring one day of camp includes everything from bus transportation to meals, water bottles and back packs to staff housing and pool fees.

The day your parish sponsors will be the perfect opportunity for parishioners to tour the camp and the learning program or to volunteer to serve a meal to the staff. We’ll celebrate your parish’s day with the campers and post a special “thank you” on social media.

To learn more about how your parish can be a part of a team of parishes sponsoring a day of camp or staff training, contact Claire Cotten at ccotten@dioala.org or (205) 358-9237.

Oh, when the saints

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Go marching in

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Oh, when the saints go marching in

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Oh Lord I want to be in that number

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When the saints go marching in

 

Thanksgiving Reflections

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This Thanksgiving, we hope you’ll take some time to consider why you are thankful for Sawyerville Day Camp and the Yellowhammer Learning Program. Think back on what SDC and the YLP have given you, what you have experienced at camp, what role the camp and learning program play in the community and the church, and why you are glad to have camp in your life.

We’ll be gathering these Thanksgiving Reflections throughout the month of November, and we hope to share them with folks who have yet to experience camp. We think these reflections will help to explain why SDC is so special to so many people.

Share Your Thanksgiving Reflection

All reflections are automatically entered to win some SDC swag!