By Wayne Allen
August 9, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
The second annual ‘Make A Difference’ youth camp was recently held at Shawnee State Park with participants taking part in lessons on how to make a difference in their communities.
According to Brenda Strickland, Camp Director, participants from the camp came from as far away as Portsmouth, Ironton, McDermott, Otway and Lucasville.
“This was our second year to hold a Make A Difference camp at Shawnee State Park. Kids are given the chance to, Dream Big. and make a difference. Although Maxine Malone and I faced obstacles that kept us from providing a week long camp, we did not give up on the kids. Due to the weather and postponement of the camp our numbers were much smaller, but excitement and joy for the day made up for less number of campers,” Strickland said. “The mission for our camp is to educate our youth from several cities how racism, discrimination, drugs, alcohol, poverty and hopelessness affect individuals, families and communities. We also want to tear down the walls that still stand between people of all colors. Our camp promotes peace, justice, tolerance, and caring for all people no matter their race, religion or economic background.”
Strickland said some of the activities of the camp included conversation about the Trayvon Martin situation.
“This year’s class opened discussion on the injustice of the Trayvon Martin and his family and how they faced the media and trial with much grace and focused on making a difference after losing their 17-year-old son to tragic and senseless death. The children learned how racism, discrimination and injustice affect communities, families and individuals. Printed on the back of our camp shirt is Trayvon Martin’s name with angel wings stating, ‘Your life changed the world!’ Each person has the power to make a difference and together we can build bridges connecting one another instead of walls of discrimination, racism and intolerance,” Strickland said.
Concluding activities of the camp included a baptism.
“The camp is not a religious camp, but due to relationships and friendships built among the youth, the invitation is always extended by youth for their friends to be a part of their life celebrations. This year Andrew Johnson wanted to be baptized at the lake with his friends and family there to support him as well as his friends from the Make A Difference camp,” Strickland said.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.