In the early morning hours of August 5th, close to 90 Prospera youth residents from across South Texas boarded the bus rental to head to Camp Zephyr in Sandia, Texas. Summer camp is an opportunity to celebrate and reward students who participated in after school programs and maintained a “C” or above average during the past school year. For many of our youth residents, this summer camping trip is the only “family vacation” they get to experience. During camp, the youth residents participated in kayaking, swimming, hiking, fishing, team building games, and arts and crafts. Despite the high temperatures, the youth residents enjoyed every moment of it together with new and old friends, encouraging one another to try new experiences and make life long memories. PHCS Annual Summer Camp is a great time and importantly, a safe space for some of our youth residents to open up to Prospera Resident Services Managers about what’s going on in their lives and the struggles they face.
When Prospera youth residents attend summer camp, it has been our experience that they come back wanting to connect even more to our resident service programs and their community. Attendance and participation in summer and after-school programming increases. This affords Prospera an opportunity to connect better with the entire family unit. Most of the time, the youth are the first in the family to attend resident service programming. Parents see the benefit and oftentimes then become engaged in programming as well. This is where the real opportunity for our Resident Service Managers to meet with the families and help access programming where residents can see direct financial impact. Whether that is access to our food banks, GED classes, or financial counseling, these programs promote community and increase opportunities for all residents.
This year’s summer camp was made possible thanks to the financial contributions from Najim Charitable Foundation and Texas Capital Bank.