BALTIMORE (WJZ)– Summer fun with a purpose. One woman’s drive to care for kids in her family has grown into a summer with a mission.
Marcus Washington has more on why this camp is more than just fun and field trips.
Pam Hendricks knows the statistics too well of young kids with nothing to do in the summer getting into trouble. But what she didn’t know is that her willingness to take care of kids in her family for the summer would grow into what it is today.
They are kids at camp, nothing too unfamiliar about the sight.
“I really didn’t think I would go to camp because I was too old for camp,” said camper Diondre Space.
But the experiences these kids are living could mean a world of difference in their future. Hendricks started the camp six years ago with just two kids for two weeks: then 7-year-old Madison Badham and her brother.
“Since I’ve become older, I’m kind of a helper,” said Badham.
Now there are 18 kids taken somewhere new in often unfamiliar territory.
“Some kids, they never go off their block; some kids, all they know is their neighborhood,” Hendricks said.
Hendricks says trips to places like Orioles Park at Camden Yards is about having fun, but it’s also learning about history in your own back yard.
Hendricks says the camp was never her plan, but it is now her mission with a growing problem that always seems too close when kids have nothing to do.
In Baltimore City, 29 kids under the age of 18 have been killed in homicides within the past three years.
“That could be my kids, it could easily be my kids. Things don’t just happen in the city. They happen everywhere,” said Hendricks.
It is why Hendricks takes these trips, to in someway provide hope.
“They need to know there is a lot out here and life has a lot to offer and Baltimore has a lot to offer. You are right here, so go get it; just go get it,” she added.
Hendricks says she will not allow cell phones or watching TV during her camp.
In addition to the local Baltimore site trips, campers will enjoy a day in Hershey Park in Pennsylvania and camping here in Maryland later this summer.
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