Camp Care-A-Lot is now a program of the Springfield nonprofit Compass for Kids.
Camp Care-A-Lot, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, helps children from low-income families throughout Central Illinois to realize a future beyond anything they could have imagined. When Compass for Kids’ executive director Molly Berendt, a recipient of the Junior Chamber of Commerce’s The Outstanding Young Persons of Illinois Awards 2018, was approached about taking over Camp Care-A-Lot it made complete sense to do so. “Camp Care-A-Lot transforms lives through residential camp experiences for children from low-income families much like the work we do through our existing programs; Club Compass, Camp Compass, and our Backpack Feeding Program,” said Molly. The difference between Camp Compass and Camp Care-A-Lot is, not only the length of camp - Camp Compass is a six-week program and Camp Care-A-Lot is over a long weekend - but the focus is very different too. “Whereas the purpose of Camp Compass is to close the achievement gap for children of low-income families in Springfield School District 186, with a structured model, academic focus, and licensed teachers, the mission of Camp Care-A-Lot is to have a positive impact on the life of a child through a residential camping experience that focuses on building up their self-worth,” said Berendt.
Throughout its 24 years, Camp Care-A-Lot has provided children the opportunity to experience the skills needed to alleviate their concerns, achieve their future goals and dreams, and live healthier and safer lives. “Camp Care-A-Lot children leave camp believing they can be successful no matter where they come from,” said Berendt.
Eydee Schultz, Camp Care-A-Lot founder, and former executive director said, “Compass for Kids serves a similar population as Camp Care-A-Lot and their leadership, like ours, is dedicated to making sure children can be confident, good decision makers improving their own lives and that of others around them. It is my hope that Compass will integrate their caring staff with the experienced Camp Care-A-Lot ‘treasure hunters’ (people who find the talents, gifts, and intelligence that lie within all children and youth) as they all teach and positively influence children and youth.”
Camp Care-A-Lot takes place August 10 to August 13. If you are interested in volunteering at Camp Care-A-Lot or would like to make a donation to Compass for Kids, please contact Molly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (217) 691-8103.