Harambay summer day camp promotes education, fun and pride
14 Special to AmNews | , Olayemi Odesanya | 7/23/2012, 12:10 p.m.
There is a camp in East New York called Harambay/Boys & Girls Camp. It is a program designed to help the community be a better place to live and is run by Man Up! Inc., which was founded by activist A.T. Mitchell and conducts community patrols to approach neighborhood residents, especially the youth, in order to listen to them and to come up with ways to solve our neighborhood problems.
Man Up! Inc. has organized a culturally relevant eight-week summer day camp program in Brooklyn for 5-13 years-olds.
Campers and summer youth counselors take youth on all types of trips to historical sites. The campers participate in culturally enriched activities and go on field trips that connect them to their rich past.
Counselor Prince Pierce stated that this camp happens every summer. Usually it runs from July 5 to Aug. 15, but this year it goes from July 9 to Aug. 24. The camp is divided by gender; the youth "do interact with each other, but for the most part we try to teach the boys in a level that girls will not understand," Pierce said.
"This is my fifth summer camp that I've been with Man Up! Inc. I got involved with the Summer Youth Employment Program. I am local to East New York--when I first heard about it, I didn't know much about Brother Mitchell or Man Up!, but I had an idea about the program. Another reason I joined was because of the location and the name. Man Up! Inc. gave us an option to come back and volunteer for Camp Harambay, and of course I said yes."
Pierce, father of a 1-month-old who bears his name, added, "I am very proud of the work we do and how we work with these young people, and make them enjoy their summer while they are learning new things about themselves and the city in which they live. We go to all five boroughs, we go to parks, museums, historical sites and great events. We also have fun and games. It is a learning experience as well by including sports and recreation as major parts of the curriculum."