Local News

Camp Teaches Kids to Be Good Samaritans

Posted July 8, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Some kids never see much of the world outside of their own neighborhoods. That can mean that some children, blessed with the comforts of life, never experience what it's like to be poor, sick, or hungry. A Raleigh church hopes to teach teenagers to appreciate their own blessings by giving to those less fortunate.

The program is called "Summer in the City," and it's sponsored by White Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh. For one week, middle school students are immersed in service projects. They learn about others; they learn about themselves; but most of all, they learn about compassion.

It takes a lot of work to be a good Samaritan. A group of middle school students are learning the hard way. They're doing yard work at a residential home for people with AIDS, Packing boxes at the North Carolina food bank, and visiting with senior citizens at an adult day care center.

Most agree they get much more than they give. Kimberly Daniels learned a lot from talking to a woman named Barbara about the beach. Learning is what it's all about.

Most of the 50 students spend time in their own neighborhoods. They never see the more urban parts of Raleigh. The goal of the program is to help them expand their world.

Associate Pastor Tom Watkins says most kids go to school shopping near their homes. So when they're asked what goes on in other parts of the city, they don't know. "Summer in the City's" goal is to take the kids to areas where they've never been.

And while the kids may not change the world in a week, they may change the way they view the world. Jamie Raub has learned that it's good to help people. He says some people aren't as lucky as others.

The church has one more "Summer in the City" session for the end of the month. They also have a trip planned during which teenagers will do service projects in towns from the coast to the mountains. The program is getting a lot of good feedback from the community.