For the past four years, the Volunteers of America Camp Heroes program has been helping low-income and at-risk youth in the Rochester area.
Now, program leaders want those same kids to continue to be part of the camp, even after they age out. The goal is to provide these kids with the opportunity to develop the necessary responsibility and leadership skills to become an effective camp counselor, so they can help others.
The camp also allows many kids to experience something new.
“A lot of our kids don’t have the opportunity to come out,” says Josh Rosenthall, Volunteers of America. “Some of them have never been outside of the city before so this is a good opportunity for them to experience different things, be out in the wilderness and be away from home for a couple of days.”
Members of the Rochester police, fire and ambulance service all volunteer their time as camp counselors to serve as role models for local kids that come from disadvantaged homes.