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Annual Summer camp for at-risk kids may not happen if volunteers are not found

A life-changing summer camp for disadvantaged kids may not happen for lack of volunteers.

For decades City Union Mission in Kansas City has provided a free camp to low-income children across the metro. Camp CUMCITO (City Union Mission Camp in the Ozarks) annually hosts 500 kids, ages 5-16. They spend an entire week at one of the six sessions at the camp located near Warsaw, Missouri.

The fun-filled days include hiking, swimming, crafts and cookouts. In the evenings volunteers and City Union Mission staff provide Bible teaching, drama songs and campfires.

Laurie Grant, Communications Director with the mission, says the goal is to bring kids hope in the difficult situations in which they live.

City Union Mission’s Camp CUMCITO serves kids from the urban core of Kansas City by giving them a summer camp experience that may not be available to them otherwise.

“We really are sad at the prospect of having to turn away a child that is looking forward to going to camp, but without volunteers, we have no choice,” she told Metro Voice.

Grant says they have a need for both male and female cabin counselors and assistant counselors for all weeks.

The lack of volunteers this year puts the outreach at risk.

“We have started registering Campers, and as of right now, we will immediately have to put them all on standby, with a few minor exceptions,” she states.

The worst-case scenario is that camps will be canceled leaving dozens, if not hundreds, of kids without a camp experience.

Grant says, “If we don’t have the volunteers, then we may have to consider canceling weeks of camp.”

City Union Missions is asking Metro Voice readers to consider a position for one of the following weeks listed below. If interested, you can email campworkers@cityunionmission.org

Available Camps for Volunteers

June 26 – July 2 PreTeen I (10-12 yrs. old) —12 male & 4 female cabin staff needed

July 3-9 Junior I (7-9 yrs. old) — 11 male cabin staff & 7 female cabin staff needed; Tot Lot I (5-6 yrs. old) — 4 female cabin staff needed

July 10-16 Teen Girls (13-16 yrs. old) — 5 female cabin staff needed

July 17-23 PreTeen II (10-12 yrs. old) —4 male & 9 female cabin staff needed

July 24-30 Junior II (7-9 yrs. old) — 4 male cabin staff needed & 5 female cabin staff needed; Tot Lot II (5-6 yrs. old) — 2 female cabin staff needed, 1 male cabin staff needed

July 31-August 6 Teen Boys (13-16 yrs. old) — 12 male cabin staff needed

–Dwight Widaman | Metro Voice