McKEE, Ky. — Liz Anderson, an AmeriCorps member, spent her summer in the Appalachian Mountains with a mission: to use her experience as a content creator to capture the summer camp experiences of young people that live in poverty in Eastern Kentucky.
“I think Camp AJ is a magical place where kids can have fun and have an ultimate summer camp experience,” said Anderson, also a social media correspondent at Christian Appalachian Project’s (CAP) residential summer camp in Jackson County, Kentucky. “The campers enjoy a full week of fun, engaging activities. They are excited when they first arrive, happy throughout the week, and appreciative of the moments spent when they leave camp.”
Liz Phelps, manager of Camp AJ, was grateful for Anderson’s help in capturing some of the camper experiences this summer. “The children we get to host at camp each year come from some very difficult economic situations. Our goal is to provide a week of summer camp that allows them just to be kids, to be in an environment where we can continue to build healthy relationships with them that impacts them for years to come.”
Anderson captured video and photographs and posted content on Camp AJ’s social media account which gave families a unique window into their children’s lives while they were away from home. Camp AJ is a program of CAP, an ecumenical nonprofit serving children and families in need in Appalachia. This summer 529 campers attended Camp AJ, while an additional 268 children were served by Camp Shawnee.
“I am grateful for this opportunity to use my skills in a way that can have an impact on the lives of children,” Anderson said. “For some campers, this was their first time away from home. I am glad the images I captured could help provide peace of mind to parents and guardians that their children were okay and having fun each week.”
Anderson added, “CAP’s commitment to deliver great, research supported enrichment and care was constantly on display. I was always looking for that right moment to capture on camera. Sometimes, it was just
documenting the activities of the day. Sometimes, when I was in the right place, I could capture a truly magical
moment of a child’s life being transformed by the staff and counselors who made the most of each child’s week at camp to make them feel special.”
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