Another successful year comes to a close.
The second annual DNA Summer Camp, held June 18 through July 13, wrapped up Friday after four weeks of fun and educational activities. The event, held by Daily Needs Assistance (DNA) at their community center in Plain City, is led by DNA Director Tamara Reed.
“This summer lunch program and is our second year. For six years, there were lunch programs going on in mobile parks in the community, but we were asked to take over,” Reed said. “The biggest challenge at first, being transportation. Last year and this year, we rented a bus from Jonathan Alder and one of their drivers and we have the bus going to Green Meadows and Canaan. We also have a 15-passenger bus going to the Suburban park and North Avenue Apartments as well as several other stops in Plain City.”
Reed said although some of the offerings are the same as last year, this year, she wanted to focus on a more “camp like” event.
“It originally started with us wanting to make sure kids had lunch over the summer,” Reed said. “But what we’re realizing is kids get really inspired by the idea of going to camp.” She said this year, they’ve included activities and guest speakers that speak on arts, athletics and various forms of career choices — the idea being to make sure the kids know that there are both options and information out there on what to do when they grow up.
One important idea hovering over the whole event is the notion of vision. In their cafeteria area, the word is plastered on the wall including the phrase, “If I can see it, I can step into it.” This visualization was brought to life by having the kids make “vision boards.”
“Every child, over the four weeks, has been working on a vision board,” said Reed. “And we are not just focusing on what they want to do, but what kind of people they want to be and what kind of world they want to live in. And they do projects on their boards that answers those questions.”
She added that it is important to do that for kids so that they are inspired and motivated at a young age and approach life with hope and possibilities.
Another major part of the camp, is the Thursday restaurant. Adult and students help prepare a lunch for members of the community to come and eat and diners are served by the kids.
“The restaurant is great because it teaches kids all kinds of things,” Reed said. “They get responsibility and hands-on experience, as well as a healthy, nutritious meal.”
According to their website, DNA is a faith-based organization, and was founded in 2010 by the Vineyard Church of Plain City with a mission to impart vision and hope into the lives of the people they meet and “to partner in friendship with them as we walk together towards Christ.”
Reach Michael Williamson at 740-852-1616, ext. 1619.