Person2Person 2018

Freedom18

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

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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.

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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

YLP Field Trips

As our fourth and final week of YLP approaches, the learning program looks back on our fun times we have had learning together over the field trips we have been on. Field trips at the Yellowhammer Learning Program enable our students to apply what they learn in the class room to the outside world. Each morning the students have been learning in the class room so that on Fridays, also known as “Field trip Fridays,” the children get to apply their knowledge to the environments around them.

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Here our wonderful students, staff, and teachers pose outside of the Birmingham Museum of Art.

 

The McWane Science Center 

Twice, the McWane Science Center has traveled down to Greensboro to further the children’s engineering skills. The kids constructed houses out of play-doh and mixed materials that were then tested against a model tornado. This activity was geared towards a trial and error experimental process that helped teach them how to revise and act on plans. Additionally with the McWane Center, the kids got to work with color detecting robots. Our students created patterns with specific colors to tell the robots the direction to move and how fast to move.

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Our YLP kids experimenting with color detecting robots with the help of our teachers and the McWane Science Center from Birmingham. 

Book Making

Book making is an activity done where the students as a class create a story together and individually create books and stories. We have learned how to create books which have tested the kid’s growth mindset. This has taught them that you can eventually learn to do something even if you are not able to originally. The growth mindset is an idea that people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work. We have been encouraging this idea throughout our curriculum in all aspects. The story created by the whole class during bookmaking will be shared at Parent Night this Friday the 14th at 6 p.m. in the Greensboro Elementary Auditorium along with many other student creations throughout the summer. Additionally, it will be shared with the Colonial Haven Nursing Home for our final field trip this upcoming summer.

Our Trip to Birmingham 

We traveled to Birmingham and visited the Zoo and Museum of Art. At the Birmingham Zoo, kids in the Yellowhammer Learning Program got to pet and hold exotic and endangered animals. Additionally, we traveled to each of the enclosures and saw animals from Africa, Asia, and those native to the Americas. At the Museum of Art, each child participated in a scavenger hunt searching for works of art and sculptures from different eras and locations. We especially thank St. Thomas for providing lunch for us at the zoo that afternoon!

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Our own student getting to touch an endangered species of turtle at the Birmingham Zoo.

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The scavenger hunt at the Museum of Art inspired many of our kids creatively and challenged them differently from routine class days.

The May Farm

We had local field trips and traveled to the May farm in Sawyerville, AL where the students got to experience nature and go on a nature hike and scavenger hunt. This field trip directly correlated to what our students were learning in Science. Focused on insects, the science curriculum was furthered outside the classroom by a scavenger hunt lead by our teachers and Horseshoe Farm fellows.

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YLP Kids get the opportunity to learn about the local insects, plants, and animals of the surrounding area in Sawyerville, AL. Especially thanks to our guides at the May Farm!

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Anna Klopak, YLP’s Field Trip and Supply Coordinator, says that, “these field trips serve to broaden the kids horizons through traveling and testing their skills they have learned in the classroom.” Our YLP field trips create a fun learning environment that is different from the everyday classroom setting.

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Summer Challenge 2017

The Jernigan Foundation has done it again!

If you have kept up with Sawyerville Day Camp over the years, you will remember that last summer, the Jernigan Foundation offered us a generous matching gift of $10,000. This meant that for every dollar raised, the Jernigan Foundation would match it, with the potential to turn $10,000 into $20,000. With your generosity, we actually raised over $27,000, and this summer we have the opportunity to raise even more than that! This year, the Jernigan Foundation is offering a $15,000 matching gift, which means by the end of the week, we could raise $30,000, or more!

This summer, we thought we would have some fun with it. For every challenge completed in fundraising, our staff or campers will complete some other kind of challenge. You can be on the look-out for all the silly shenanigans this week as we get the Summer Challenge 2017 rolling!

We hope that by the end of seven days, we’ve raised a whole lot of money, had a whole lot of fun, and provided the funding necessary for a whole lot of growth and learning. Whether you’re a regular donor or you’ve only considered donating to Sawyerville or YLP, now is the time to give! YOU can make a difference in the lives of nearly 750 children. It’s all for the kids!

Make sure to watch the video to learn more about this awesome opportunity, and to keep up with us on social media all week!

SDC Instagram // SDC Twitter // SDC Facebook

YLP Instagram // YLP Twitter // YLP Facebook 

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