CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Summer camp means many things for many young campers. It might mean swimming or craft-making, skits or games and, of course, camaraderie.
For one high school-age camper, now looking back on her years at one local camp, it meant something more:
"I felt like I actually belonged somewhere," she said.
In today's world, kids who don't feel like they belong somewhere, particularly somewhere as beneficial as a summer camp, just might carry that feeling with them well into adulthood.
Unfortunately, not all kids get a chance at summer camp -- a chance to belong. Camps aren't free. There's food and facilities and activities -- all things that cost money to provide and maintain.
That's where you come in . . . you and the Gazette Charities Send-a-Child-to-Camp Fund. Together, the fund and our readers can and will make a difference in the lives of many local children.
Today marks the kick-off of the 17th year for the camp fund. Throughout its existence, the fund has helped to send nearly 9,000 kids to one of the high-quality summer camps offered in our area.
Every penny of your donation to the camp fund will go to help kids go to camp. The Gazette covers all administrative costs of the fund.
In the coming month, the Gazette will feature stories about kids and camps, illustrating the difference a summer-camp adventure can make in the life of a child.
Readers will learn about children from camps with inspired names such as Creative Capers or the Academic Tune-up. They'll find out what the Regional Teen Institute is all about. And they will read about that old standby -- 4H camp.
Please consider donating, and remember: No donation is too small.
To help send a child to camp, clip out the coupon provided in the daily Gazette and today's Sunday Gazette-Mail and mail your check to the Gazette Charities Send-a-Child-to-Camp Fund. Or, to donate online, click on the camp fund logo on our website -- wvgazette.com.