YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – There are plenty of summer camps going on around the area. However, there is one that is tailored for kids being raised by older adults, like grandparents for example.
Seven-year-old Margaree Bonner plays with her new friends at the Easterseals and Direction Home Kinship Camp. This is the first year of the free camp and it’s personalized for a certain population.
“This summer, we decided to take a unique adventure on offering a summer camp for kiddos that are being cared for by ages 55 or older,” said Easterseals CEO Jody Klase.
Klase says Direction Home provides the funds to make it all possible.
“So there is certainly a great need. It seems to be increasing each year of the number of older adults that are caring for their grandchildren, their nieces, nephews, etc.,” Klase said.
The camp offers children the opportunity to experience new activities. Plus, transportation is provided. But the kids aren’t the only ones benefiting from it.
“It is giving them some reprieve and just some time alone. Time to go to the grocery store. Just some time to do some self-care or go to work and know that their kiddos are being taken care of,” Klase said.
The kids say it has been a great summer.
“The counselors are really nice because, well, ya know, they help me a lot with stuff and they let me play games. They let me play games a lot and it’s really, really fun,” Bonner said.
Easterseals and Direction Home have seen how helpful this has been to older adults this summer. They’re even thinking about expanding it into the school year.
“We absolutely see the need and see some expansion. We’re even talking about expanding to afterschool or during holiday times,” Klase said.
The camp finishes up next week with a big celebration.