Volunteer opportunity description

Well, it’s hard to believe but here we are – Summer! And here at the Educational Arts Team, summertime means one thing…CAMP LIBERTY!                                                                         

Camp Liberty was founded in 1974 as a safe and tranquil outdoor space in Jersey City for young people from different neighborhoods to come together to do art, join in song, play sports and take part in theater.

Help prepare the grounds for the 2018 Camp Liberty season. Volunteers can help by constructing camp benches, painting various rooms, weeding and cleaning our gardens and much more. Our goal is to enhance, beautify and keep safe the camp grounds and its facilities.

About the program:                                                                         Over the years, our unique day camp has evolved into a multifaceted enriching recreational, artistic and cultural experience for children ages 6 to 15 to learn, grow, and create.  Our 5 acres of land are located in Liberty State Park and include an in-ground swimming pool, spaces for art making, a softball field, soccer field,handball courts, pavilion, stage, and playground. To see pictures of our facility go to www.educationalartsteam.org and click on Camp Liberty Gallery. Camp activities include theater, arts & crafts, sports (basketball, soccer, handball, softball), dance, music, vaudeville, magic, puppetry, gardening and swimming. “The family pool parties are so much fun on those hot summer evenings.” Micheline Amy, Camper’s parent

Every summer Camp Liberty is proud to offer scholarship spots to families so their children can attend camp. Along with our annual scholarship program, we are partnering with Jersey City and Welcome Home to bring recently resettled refugee children to Camp Liberty. “I am so incredibly touched by the community support and efforts. Thank you Camp Liberty and everyone for donating and sharing.  Best of all, the kids are sooooo excited to attend.’ Kara Murphy

Many of our well-trained staff have been working at the camp for a number of years, many of them Camp Liberty alumni! “I really enjoyed the camp show!!! Amazing showcase. Thank you for your dedication and hard work!” Sharon Zegarra, camper and counselor’s mom

One Day One Child, by Michelle Rhodes (a former JC Public School Teacher who attended Camp Liberty as a child)

Long, long ago there was a seven year old girl named Sharia [shah-ree-ah].  She lived in a village with her mother, Patricia and two brothers named Christopher and Manny.  Sharia loved words… spoken and written, because they invoked the use of her imagination which aided her journeys to distant lands where she partook in acts that were not experienced in her village.  Sharia enjoyed reading so much that it was not uncommon to find her sitting alone reading. 

When not reading she liked to play village games, like freeze tag, cheers, blind man’s bluff, and imagineer, with her friends.  In the summer she and her friends would meet for breakfast if their parents permitted them to at the Cayambe; a structure used for a range of activities and supervised by the village elders.  The Cayambe would stay open until midafternoon offering children healthy lunches and snacks.  The summer gave Sharia and her friends extra hours of play time.

 Because Sharia’s village was on the outskirts of civilization occasional trips to the city were arranged so the villagers would become acquainted with the city’s way of life.  Attached to the walls of the Cayambe for everyone to see were posters announcing dates and times of field trips.  One too hot to playing outside summer day, Sharia and her friends decided to have lunch at the Cayambe.  While walking she spotted a poster inviting children to attend camp for a day.  Sharia ran home to get permission from her mother to attend the camp.  Based on what she read it seemed like it would be fun.  A few of her friends got permission from their parents to go as well. 

On the day of the trip Sharia’s excitement gave way to feelings of humdrum.  There was nothing exciting about the bus pulling up, getting on it, choosing a seat, the ride or entering the camp; it was all a blur to her.  However unbeknownst to Sharia this was no ordinary camp…No Sirree Bob!  And just as fast as her feelings of excitement disappeared, they reappeared.  Sharia was suddenly roused from her stupor.  Her senses were amplified and delighted in ways she never experienced.  She felt like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.  It was at that moment Sharia realized she wasn’t in her little village anymore.

 I’ll let her tell you the rest.

Under the huge blue pavilion were rows of benches positioned north, south, east and west that split the audience of children into two sections to create an aisle.  Upon the beautifully decorated stage hung a great big, shiny, round, gold Gong!  I soon became intoxicated by shades of cherry reds, milky whites, ebony blacks, and shiny silky colored dresses and large portions of cloth tied into bows on the backs of the women dresses.  They walked with tiny steps and hands clasp together as if praying while walking.  The world turned bottom side up and I was in Japan, watching the events of the story unfold.  

A strong young handsome emperor was in power.  He admired youth and despised the old.  He saw elderly people as useless with helping his country become the most powerful country in the world. Only its young citizens could make that happen.  Then and there it was decided that every old person had to leave the country because they had no value.    

Old people were driven out by the hundreds.  Of the hundreds of old people to be exiled was an old man dressed in a bluish gray robe, with a beige strap of cloth tied around his waist to serve as a belt. He was so hunchback he used his walking stick to prevent him from toppling over.  His gait was slow and deliberate.  This elderly man was the grandfather of a young boy who loved him dearly and could not bear to lose him so he hid his grandfather in his home.  The people of the land pleaded with the emperor to show compassion and let their elders live their lives happily in their homeland.  Now the emperor wanted to give the impression he was fair.  So he acknowledged his citizens’ complaints and made a deal with them.  He told them that the old people of the land could stay if just one person retrieves the golden goblet from the bottom of the lake.

 The next day the emperor and other young the people of the land met by the lake.  Family members of the exiled elderly lined up one by one for a chance to retrieve the golden goblet that was in plain view, from the bottom of the lake.  The young men and women could not be more thankful for such an easy task. 

For two days the challenge went on.  The young lad with the old grandfather who walked with a stick, watched in bewilderment at how everyone who tried, failed to retrieve the golden goblet that was in plain view at the bottom of the lake.  In utter fear of losing his beloved grandfather the boy went to his grandfather and told him of what he witnessed.  The boy’s grandfather calmed him and said to him, “Perhaps the goblet isn’t in the lake.”  What! That was too much for the little boy to bear so he described how that couldn’t be possible because everyone could see the beautifully gleaming golden goblet at the bottom of the lake.  Grandfather explained to grandson that things are not always how they seem.  He told him to go the lake tomorrow and request a chance to retrieve the golden goblet.

The next day again and again the boy watched as people dive into the lake and surface empty-handed over and over again.  Finally he asked to try.  The Emperor laughed haughtily at the boy but granted his request.  The young boy walked over to a tree located near the lake, climbed it and removed that beautiful gleaming golden goblet lodged between its branches. 

This time it was the Emperor who was dumbfounded and asked the boy how he knew where the goblet was.  The boy told the emperor that his grandfather said to him, no one would ever find it in the lake because it wasn’t there.  His grandfather knew everyone was looking at the sun’s reflection of the goblet in the water.  As a result it made sense that someone would be able to find the goblet hidden in a tree.

The emperor kept his word and allowed the elders to return to and forever remain in their homeland and be treated with the utmost respect hence forth.  The citizens of the land cheered and celebrated the return of their grandmothers and grandfathers.    

 However the person to learn the most important lesson of all was the emperor.  He learned, With Age Comes Wisdom.    

Suddenly the world turned right side up and I was again sitting on the wooden benches under the pavilion at Camp Liberty. 

Sharia saw life in high definition from that moment on.  When she exited the pavilion she saw vibrant shades of green grass as well as its plush feel on the bottom of her feet as she played and the sweet smell of grass when she laid in it. The sun was lemon yellow and looked sweet enough to eat like one of those lemonhead candies.  It was a perfect summer day.

Next on the agenda was the pool. Sharia sat anxiously along the edge of the pool with lots of other children, some she knew from her village others she didn’t.  The sun’s rays were iridescent on the surface of the rising and falling crystal clear blue water.  The water was so clear you could see all the way to the bottom of the pool.  The only thing missing was the golden goblet.  Splash!! One kid in the pool! Splash, Splash others jumped in the pool.  Sharia held onto the edge; she desperately wanted to win the game.  A camp counselor yelled waterproof and splash, in jumped Sharia, a little embarrassed but more disappointed because she knew if she had waited long enough to hear the magic word WATERMELON she would have been the fastest to swim the other side of the pool.  But that did not prevent her from having fun in the sun.

Sharia always remembered that special day and theaters momentous impact on her life. 

Requirements

Please wear comfortable light clothing the days can get very hot and humid.  Make certain to wear the appropriate atire to work with youth as well as something you would not mind getting paint on or soiled.  Hydration and sun screen is very important.  We do stay open on rainy days. Please limit cell phone use away from camp grounds and we are definetly a no smoking facility.

Our volunteer needs

We need volunteers who are free at these times

SunMonTuesWedThurFriSat
Morningxxxxx
Afternoonxxxxx
Evening

About the organization

Educational Arts Team, Inc.

Contact:
Dominick Buccafusco
Program Operations Adm.
Organization’s website:
http://www.educationalarts...
Volunteer opportunity website:
http://www.educationalarts...
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