June 20, 2017 marks the first official day in summer, though if you live in Dallas you’re already feeling summer-like heat. For many children, summer is filled with family vacations, backyard barbecues, pool days, and summer camps. It is a time to enjoy the possibilities of life outside of the typical school year routine. Unfortunately, there is also a large number of children who do not get to enjoy these same experiences. Due to issues such as socioeconomic status, medical condition, or physical/mental disability, many children are unable to take part in summer activities.
Since inception, The Rees-Jones Foundation has supported organizations and programs that offer all children the chance to enjoy summertime with their peers. For that reason, the Foundation funds “camperships” (scholarships to attend camp) for children from all backgrounds who reside in Dallas-Fort Worth. This year, camps include:
• Clements Scout Ranch/Trevor Rees-Jones Scout Camp: a summer camp of the Boys Scouts of America’s Circle Ten Council that provides outdoor adventure and scouting knowledge for boys.
• Camp Sweeney: one of the only summer camps in the country that exclusively serves kids with diabetes.
• Camp Summit: a high-quality summer camp experience with adapted activities for youth and adults with physical and developmental disabilities, and other impairments.
• Pine Cove: a Christian summer camp open to all children that partners with Mercy Street to provide camping opportunities for low-income children living in West Dallas.
• Sky Ranch: a Christian summer camp open to all children that also provides at-risk, Dallas-area children with “camperships”.
• Kids Across America: a Christian summer camp in Missouri that aims to develop a love of Christ in its campers. The Foundation supports “camperships” that allow nearly 1,500 at-risk, Dallas-area children to attend.
• Camp Oasis: the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America’s North Texas summer camp dedicated to serving children diagnosed with Crohn’s disease and/or ulcerative colitis, commonly known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
• Joni & Friends: a unique Christian summer camp dedicated to serving individuals with disabilities and their family members. Camp is designed to promote family unity, spiritual nourishment, and strengthened relationships with God and one another.
• Camp Reynal: the National Kidney Foundation’s summer camp in Texas dedicated to providing a fun summer camping experience for children and youth who suffer from kidney disease or who are in the process of receiving/recovering from a kidney transplant.
• Camp Tesoro de la Vida: the summer camp of Camp Fire First Texas that is dedicated to serving children suffering from grief due to loss of a family member.
The Foundation’s founders, Jan and Trevor Rees-Jones, both enjoy being outdoors and know the joys that summer camp can bring to one’s life. For that reason, they want to ensure that all children, regardless of their life situation, have the chance to make new friends, engage in new experiences, adventure in the outdoors, and build character through camping. Here’s to a fun-filled summer ahead!