Private donations give free summer camp to 1,800 students - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Private donations give free summer camp to 1,800 students

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Summer camps hold many fond memories for children and adults across the Mid-South, but these days, camps can be expensive and not everyone can afford them.

There is a summer camp, though, funded by private donations that make it possible for two-thirds of the campers to attend for free. 

Timon Freeman, 14, doesn't usually plan much of his summer break, but this year, he is part of a City of Memphis summer camp operated through the Parks and Neighborhoods division. 

"It I wasn't able to go to summer camp, I would be at home," he said. "The staff members, they always make sure you do the right thing. They get onto you because they love you."

"We get to do a lot more things and get to go on field trips," camper Khalia Cole added.

About 2,700 students are enrolled in places like Whitehaven, Hickory Hill, Lester, and Cordova. Thanks to the private donations, about 1,800 of those campers are able to attend for free.

"He's told me he enjoyed it. Very created. I mean, it's just a place for him to go so they wouldn't, you know, be on the street or not have anything to do in the summer," said parent Shaun Franklin.

Kameron Whalum is one of the camp's talent show judges. He just got back from The White House where he performed with Bruno Mars. He remembers being part of many summer talent shows.

"Singing and dancing and coming up with routines and stuff like that. It all plays a part no matter what you are going to do after school, it all plays a part in working with people using your brain," Whalum explained.  

The eight week summer camp held for kids, who otherwise might not be able to attend, is making memories the campers won't soon forget.

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