One particular Ferris State University summer camp has become known for its ability to inspire kids to re-invest in the community and have fun at the same time.
Ranging in age from 5 to 11, Big Rapids-area children of community members, students, faculty and staff have let the good times roll at Ferris’ Bulldog Summer Camp, organized and run by the University’s Tot’s Place Child Development Center. A central component of the camp’s curriculum is community service. That emphasis is designed to help children learn the value of hometown activism. This year, the campers chose to raise money to financially contribute to the “Save the Pool Fund” for the Charles E. Fairman Community Pool in Big Rapids.
The campers planned preparation of the baked goods, requests for baked goods from families and Tot’s Place staff, the promotion of the sale, packaged the goods, and conducted the two-day sale outside Ferris’ Bishop Hall July 8 and 9. Through proceeds from the bake sale, children raised $240 that was presented to pool director Pat Horan as Ferris helped facilitate an investment in the Big Rapids community.
“I have been very impressed with the enthusiasm shown by the children in taking on this service project,” Lori Johnson, manager of Tot’s Place, said. “They were very eager in all the responsibilities which went along with carrying out their goal; whether it was preparing the baked goods, designing the advertisements, or soliciting potential customers.”
In past summers, campers have engaged in fund-raising activities in support of WISE (Women's Information Service Inc.) and Project Starburst.
“Tot’s Place is very proud of our Bulldog Summer Camp program in their efforts and interest in supporting the community pool,” Johnson added.
In addition to the bake sale, the campers planned another project: the annual St. Jude’s Trike-a-thon on July 16 behind Bishop Hall on the basketball courts. Johnson added that the Tot’s Place preschool class and the NEMCSA Head Start program will also be participating in this event to raise funds to support St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.