Introducing the 2018 Interns

This summer’s crew is top-notch! We’re thrilled to have these talented, hardworking, kid-loving, Jesus-serving people on our team all summer.

Starting in May, our 14 interns will take on big responsibilities to make sure that both summer camp and summer learning run smoothly. Please keep them and their work in your prayers!

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Liam Ayres

Role: Upper Camp Co-Coordinator

School: University of Alabama in Huntsville

What food could you eat forever: chicken nuggets

Who would you add to Mount Rushmore: Martin Luther King Jr.
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Faith Bryant

Role: Camper Registrar

School: Alabama A&M University

What food could you eat forever: hot wings

Who would you add to Mount Rushmore: Martin Luther King Jr.

Olivia

Olivia Chew

Role: Summer Learning Meals and Supplies Assistant

School: Auburn University

What food could you eat forever: guacamole

Who would you add to Mount Rushmore: Leslie Knope

Tye

Ty Edwards

Role: Camper Registrar

School: University of South Alabama

What food could you eat forever: alfredo pasta

Who would you add to Mount Rushmore: Barack Obama

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Emily Hooker

Role: Staff Registrar

School: University of Alabama

What food could you eat forever: pizza

Who would you add to Mount Rushmore: my cat

Tatyana

Tatyana Lawson

Role: Student Registrar

School: Alabama A&M University

What food could you eat forever: garlic bread

Who would you add to Mount Rushmore: Mary McLeod Bethune

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Duncan Manley

Role: Middler Camp Co-Coordinator

School: Washington & Lee University

What food could you eat forever: Milk

Who would you add to Mount Rushmore: Ella O’Neill

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Alice McGowin

Role: Summer Learning Communications Assistant

School: Auburn University

What food could you eat forever: BBQ nachos

Who would you add to Mount Rushmore: Kerryon Johnson

 

Breanna

Breanna Mitchell

Role: Upper Camp Co-Coordinator

School: University of Alabama

What food could you eat forever: pizza

Who would you add to Mount Rushmore: Martin Luther King, Jr.

Ella

Ella O’Neill

Role: Lower Camp Coordinator

School: Auburn University

What food could you eat forever: broccoli

Who would you add to Mount Rushmore: Ruth Bader Ginsberg

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Meredith Schoel

Role: Summer Camp Meals & Supplies Assistant

School: Rhodes College

What food could you eat forever: apples and peanut butter

Who would you add to Mount Rushmore: Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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Nick Squillacote

Role: Lower Camp Co-Coordinator

School: Boston College

What food could you eat forever: Cinnamon Toast Crunch

Who would you add to Mount Rushmore: Michael Scott

 

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Virginia Thornton

Role: Summer Camp Communications Assistant

School: University of Richmond

What food could you eat forever: Chick-Fil-A

Who would you add to Mount Rushmore: Nick Saban

AnneDouglass

Anne Douglass Williams

Role: Middler Camp Co-Coorindator

School: University of Alabama

What food could you eat forever: queso

Who would you add to Mount Rushmore: Nick Saban

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Sawyerville’s New Look

Over the past several years, this ministry has grown to include not just the day camp but also the Yellowhammer Learning Program, Person2Person, the Leslie Manning Scholarship Fund, and a new mentoring program. This growth reflects hard work, strong relationships, and lots of answered prayers. We’re proud of what Sawyerville has created over the past 25 years, and we look forward to what the next 25 years will bring.

While all the growth is exciting, it has created some confusion around the connection between the programs. In an effort to clarify and answer any questions before they’re even asked, we decided to reimagine our name and logos.

Without further ado…

SAWYERVILLE

Here’s our new logo!

Sawyerville is the name of the town where the ministry began in 1993. Though the day camp has evolved and new programs have been added, the name Sawyerville still reflects the purpose of this ministry, the thing that has never changed—the mission of Sawyerville is to serve God, broaden the horizons of campers and counselors, improve race relations in Alabama, and enrich the lives of those living in poverty. That was true in Sawyerville, AL in 1993 when 75 campers and staff began a new day camp, and it’s true today. We’re honored to carry this name, and we’re thrilled to bring all of the programs under its banner.

All of the programs will fall under the umbrella of Sawyerville. The programs will be known as:

  • Sawyerville Summer Camp
  • Sawyerville Summer Learning
  • Sawyerville Mentoring
  • Sawyerville Scholarships
  • Sawyerville Person2Person

As you can see, we’ve changed the programs’ names just a bit:

  • Sawyerville Day Camp is now Sawyerville Summer Camp – Adding the word “summer” clarifies when the camp takes place, and eliminating the word “day” allows for the addition of an overnight camp in the future.
  • Yellowhammer Learning Program is now Sawyerville Summer Learning – While we loved this name, the “Yellowhammer” piece became confusing. Making the change to “Sawyerville” brings it in line with the rest of the programs. Adding the word “summer” describes when the program takes place.

We’ve chosen fonts and colors that reflect the joy and spirit of the ministry. You’ll recognize purple as our signature color along with green and orange and the new addition of red and blue.

New color scheme!

New color scheme!

We’re so excited to share the new logo and colors! We hope you’ll help us spread the news on social media. The more people who see this announcement, the smoother the transition will be. Keep your eye out for new Sawyerville swag in the next few weeks!

 

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Thank you to Tim Denny for working with us through this process! Tim is a member of St. Mary’s-on-the-Highlands, and he has been a friend of Sawyerville for many years. 

Person2Person 2018

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The second-annual Person2Person took place over Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend. Twenty-one participants pilgrimaged around Montgomery, visiting the Civil Rights Memorial, the Freedom Rides Museum, Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church, and the Dexter Parsonage Museum, former home of Martin Luther King, Jr. himself. They had conversations about racial stereotypes, education inequality, and criminal justice reform—tough topics to say the least. They were brave, vulnerable, and eager to learn.

On Monday morning, we asked participants to answer a few questions about their experience. Their answers tell the story of Person2Person 2018.

What will you remember about Person2Person a year from now?

  • I will remember that ordinary people can do extraordinary things.
  • I will remember being in Dr. King’s house. That experience held more feelings and more revelation and more holiness than just about anything else I’ve done in my life.

When someone asks you what you did this weekend, what will you say?

  • I will tell them I became a part of something great, something that will change somebody’s life.
  • I was able to spend time with some amazing people and have open conversations on how to mend a broken world and to ask questions about racial inequality and privilege.

Do you feel inspired to DO anything after Person2Person?

  • I feel inspired to talk to people about racism.
  • I feel that I should make a big effort to make sure that I treat everyone as equal.
  • I feel inspired to talk about problems back home most people aren’t as comfortable talking about.
  • I feel inspired to LOVE people. All people. I want to stop the racist and discriminatory things I hear in the hallway at school. I want to inform people and spread love.

God of all humanity, You call us to bring about healing and wholeness for the whole world–for women and men of all races and cultures and creeds. Help us to respond to a world that is groaning under the weight of injustice and broken relationships. Remind us that differences are a gift and interdependence a strength from the same creative God. Strengthen us to resist the forces that encourage polarization and competition rather than understanding and cooperation. We know that your reign is not built on injustice and oppression, but on the transformation of hearts–new life, not just reordered life. Teach us forgiveness, O God. Bring us reconciliation. Give us hope for the future. We pray in Jesus’ love. Amen.

-Sheryl A. Kujawa-Holbrook


Thank you to everyone who made Person2Person possible!

St. John’s Episcopal Church, Montgomery

Grace Episcopal Church, Mt. Meigs

First United Methodist Church

Nelya McKenzie

Carole Kendrick

Chris’ Hot Dogs

Chappy’s Deli

Civil Rights Memorial Center

Dexter Parsonage Museum

Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church

Freedom Rides Museum

From One Community to Another

See the video!

This past summer, Pat Bills volunteered in the kitchen at Sawyerville Day Camp. She worked side by side with folks from all over the state to make breakfast, lunch, and a snack for over 300 campers and staff members each day. It was hard work, but Pat said, “I will happily go back next year.”

After the summer, back at work at CAPTRUST, Pat realized Sawyerville was eligible for a special grant. CAPTRUST employees give together through the CAPCommunity Foundation. People find all kinds of creative ways to raise money, and they share it knowing that their coworkers are doing the same. CAPTRUST employees know they are stronger together.

The same is true at camp! One person alone can’t bake 300 biscuits every morning in time for breakfast, but with a team of devoted helpers, those biscuits are ready to go at 8:00am. One little neighborhood can’t put on this giant, life-changing camp for 750 children, but a united network of individuals, churches, companies, foundations, and non-profits sure can. We are all stronger together.

It’s in this spirit of teamwork and giving that CAPCommunity Foundation has granted Sawyerville Day Camp $25,000 for Summer 2018. These funds will cover the cost of 166 campers! That includes meals, school bus transportation, pool fees, art supplies, back packs, t-shirts, everything a camper needs for a great week at camp.

To our new friends at CAPCommunity Foundation—thank you! Thank you for joining your team with ours to give children and youth in Hale County an opportunity to play, learn, and grow this summer. We are beyond thrilled to receive this generous gift. It’s all for the kids!

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Receiving the grant at the Sawyerville Christmas Party!

See the video!

Apply to Intern This Summer

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2017 Summer Interns

Internship applications are officially open!

Young people who are one-year out of high school are invited to apply by January 2, 2018.

There’s plenty of information about the internships on our website. In addition, below is a reflection from Katie Timmons, last summer’s Communications Assistant for Sawyerville Day Camp. We hope Katie’s experience will inspire others to apply!

By Katie Timmons

I already know that words will be inadequate, but I am going to try anyway.

The other day, my coworker asked me if my summer had been what I expected. The question threw me for a loop, mostly because I hadn’t really taken the time to compare the reality of my experiences to the picture I had drawn up in my head. I told him I would have to think about that for a second, and when I did, I realized that picture in my head didn’t really exist.

This summer, I walked into a lot of things. I walked into a religious denomination I hadn’t grown up in and didn’t fully understand. I walked into an office in a city that I still needed a GPS to navigate. I walked into a program and a job that, other than the descriptions I had read online when I applied, I knew nothing about. I walked into a group of people that looked a lot more like a family than a staff. And then, I walked into an elementary school.

Nine and a half hours of highway and a lot of uncertainty separated those school doors and my comfort zone, but even if there had been a clear picture drawn up in my head, it never would have prepared me for walking into that building. And it sure as heck wouldn’t have prepared me for everything that would happen once those doors closed behind me.

Regardless of how unprepared I was, or what few expectations I had, it was immediately clear that I had walked into something, but I never could have guessed how much that something would come to mean to me, or how fully I would become a part of it.

This summer at Sawyerville, though spent in a school building, taught me more than any school ever could. I learned about life and love and community and faith. I learned about laughter and friendship and courage. I learned about truth and heartbreak and perseverance. I never thought a job at a summer camp could so completely change my life and my outlook.

Each morning, I would wake up in the room (yes, room) that I shared with sixteen other people. I would put on my brick-red, slightly-more-faded-than-the-day-before staff shirt, and maybe a swipe of mascara if I skipped the third press of the snooze button. I’d walk into Greensboro Elementary School, make myself an impressively large cup of coffee, and then I would watch God go to work like I’d never seen before.

I watched children ignore what the world told them about the color of their skin or their economic status or their chances at success and instead watched them stand firm on their identities as beloved, cherished, gifted children of God. I watched people of all ages step out of their comfort zones and face their fears because they knew God was on their side. I watched little girls and little boys find role models and friends and Jesus. Every day, I sat at my desk and marveled at everything that happened within those walls, and every day, Sawyerville Day Camp changed my world.

I grew to love a lot of people during this whirlwind of a summer. I care for the sweet children of Greensboro, Alabama more than I ever thought I could. But I have a special place in my heart for the staff, because the miracle that is Sawyerville couldn’t happen without their selflessness and service, and it’s to them that I owe the best summer of my life.

Y’all inspire and amaze me. You love and serve so fully and so well. You are full of grace and strength and wisdom, often well beyond your years. Thank you for reminding me that miracles still happen and for teaching me to love and serve and live with everything I’ve got. Thank you for showing me that this is so much more than a summer camp or an elementary school or a small town in Alabama. Words will never do justice to you or the things you do in this place, and I will never be able to tell you the ways that you have shaped my heart.

And to my fellow summer long staff. My love for you is where words truly fail. Thank you for sharing that room with me. Thank you for holding my hand and hugging me tight. Thank you for being kind and gentle in your leadership. Thank you for bringing light and laughter into my stressful days. You have shown me what insane courage, boundless passion, and complete joy look like. You have taught me to live unapologetically and authentically, and to appreciate each little moment. You give every single ounce of yourselves to this place and these people, and it has been such a gift to witness. You have given me a home and a family I didn’t even know I wanted or needed, and I will never be able to thank you enough for that. I love y’all so much more than I could ever tell you. You are my and some of my greatest blessings.

So, I guess to answer that question that was asked of me, this summer was like nothing I could have imagined and everything I could have hoped for. And more. So much more.

Sawyerville, it has truly been my greatest honor.

Katie1

Katie Timmons with camper

Coming Up: 5K and Innisfree Event

There’s not one but TWO ways to support Sawyerville Day Camp coming up in October. We hope to see you at both! Be sure to share these announcements with your friends – the more people who attend, the more money we raise for Summer 2018!

7th Annual 5K Race

Hosted by St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Greensboro

5k

What: The annual 5K run/walk takes participants on a certified route through Greensboro, passing both antebellum homes and Rural Studios houses. There is also a one-mile color run for children. Awards, door prizes, and ice cream will be given out following the race.

When: Saturday, October 7th. Registration opens at 8:00am and the race begins at 9:00am.

Where: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 905 Church Street, Greensboro

Can’t make it? That’s ok! You can register and “sleep in for Sawyerville.” You’ll still support the event and receive this year’s 5K t-shirt.

Register here: bit.ly/SDC5K2017

Give Back Event at Innisfree, Tuscaloosa

Hosted by the Sawyerville Day Camp Junior Board

Give Back Eventat Innisfree (1)

What: After the 5K, come watch football with us at Innisfree. We’re selling those purple cups in the photo above for $5.00 at the door. With the SDC cup, you’ll gain access to two drink specials: $2 draft beers and $5 Sabanades. (You can also order water/soft drinks/iced tea with your SDC cup!)

When: Saturday, October 7th starting at 12:00pm.

Where: Innisfree Irish Pub, 1925 University Boulevard, Tuscaloosa

Can’t make it? That’s ok! If you’d like a cup, give a gift online of $10 or more (to cover processing fees and shipping), write a note in the memo line asking for a cup, and we’ll gladly mail you one.

We couldn’t do it by ourselves.

Sawyerville Day Camp is quite the production, and like anything great, we couldn’t possibly do it by ourselves. We owe camp to so many people, but we are endlessly thankful to our friends in the Black Belt of Alabama for welcoming us into their community and for serving Sawyerville better than we ever could alone.

water tower

To all our church families, thank you for keeping us in faith and in food. Thank you St. Paul’s Greensboro for the catfish lunch that is such a staple of Greensboro and now Sawyerville. Thank you Trinity Demopolis for welcoming us into your congregation to share a service with y’all and for the delicious barbeque afterwards. Thank you Greensboro Baptist church for the yummy french fries. Thank you Third Street Church of God for providing ice cream sundaes for the staff, because the only thing that makes a great day better is some ice cream at the end of it.

To our friends at Project Horseshoe Farms, thank you for helping to make this summer with the Yellowhammer Learning Program the best yet. Our students made leaps and bounds this summer, and we are so grateful to y’all for helping to make that happen.

To Judson College and Marion Military Institute, thank you for making everyone’s favorite part of the day possible. The pool is such a joyful time for our campers, students, and even our staff, and we can’t thank y’all enough for welcoming us into your facilities. To Judson, thank you for not only giving us your pool, but also your gym. That space is invaluable for Lower Camp. To Colonel Passmore and Mrs. Holmes at MMI, thank you for welcoming us back to your beautiful facility. Having a second pool to swim at just makes camp all the better, and we are so grateful to you. And to Ms. Suttles, thank you so much for being there with Upper Camp and Middler Camp each and every day. It meant so much to us, and we hope you had a little bit of fun witnessing all of our pool antics.

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To those that provided further enrichment for our campers and students, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. To Jo Taylor, thank you for doing the book making seminar with our YLP students. They had so much fun with it, and it was something we never could have done without you. To the Black Belt Community Foundation, thank you for providing the grant for our Upper Campers to hone their arts and crafts skills. That was one of our most popular activities, and the campers had so much fun working on their creations each week.

To those in the Greensboro community who welcomed us so graciously into their homes and their businesses, thank you, thank you, thank you. To Laird Cole, thank you for opening the Johnston Tolbert House to us. We are always to thankful to have that space. To HERO Housing, thank you for letting our interns live at Martin Stewart all summer. Its walls hold our absolute favorite memories. To Pie Lab, thank you for welcoming our new staff members and giving them a taste of the yummiest part of Greensboro. And to the Safehouse Museum, thank you for reminding us what this is all about. You reinforced how crucial our goal of improving race relations is, and assured our new staffers that the work they are doing here is important and impactful.

JT house

your moms house kitchen

pie lab

dinner at JT

And finally, to the Hale County Board of Education and Greensboro Elementary School. We truthfully cannot thank you enough for making all of this possible. Without your facilities, your cafeteria staff, your buses and drivers, and your support, this camp we cherish and love so much could never happen. To our cafeteria staff and our bus drivers, you are invaluable to us, and we are so glad you are a part of this team. To Mrs. Richey at GES, thank you for your flexibility with us as we tried new things this summer, and for opening up new parts of your building to us so that we could truly make this summer the best yet. To Ms. Heartsill, thank you for making sure we got every package and for sharing your family with us all summer long. And to Stanley, thank you for making sure our coffee was hot each morning and for always making sure our doors were unlocked. And to all the faculty and staff, thank you for sharing your school and your students with us. Thank you for letting this camp grow and for allowing us all to fall in love with this community and its children.

GES

GES campus

greesnboro mural