On behalf of the Camp Rosenbaum Fund Board of Directors, we would like to thank you all for your support in 2023 and for helping us have a successful year and make the summer all about the kids!
2022 was our first year back after a long break due to COVID-19 with limited numbers of youth at both camps. In 2023, we were able to increase the number of youths served at our long-running overnight camp, Camp Rosenbaum, and our day camp, the Rosenbaum Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Youth Camp, and get closer to pre-COVID numbers.
The Rosenbaum PPB Youth Camp took place on June 26th – 30th, 2023, at Parkrose High School in Portland, OR. We offered 11 different activities both on and off campus and served 205 youth, ages 8-14. Campers were paired with law enforcement, Home Forward, and civilian volunteers who were their coaches and instructors for the week where they built connections, learned new skills, and practiced good sportsmanship.
This year, we introduced the option for campers who were participating on campus to switch activities after lunch, which was successful for both the campers and the staff! Also, thanks to a private donor and Portland’s First Book Bank chapter, we were able to give each camper a drawstring bag filled with some school supplies and two books.
Camp Rosenbaum, our overnight camp out on the Oregon Coast at Camp Rilea, held its 51st camp from August 12th – 18th, 2023! We hosted 122 campers for the week who got to experience the ocean, fishing, horseback riding, a nature hike, dodgeball and other group sports, arts & crafts, science, leather, music, participate in a talent show and sandcastle contest, build teamwork at our Fire Dawg Challenge, and learn about making good choices in our STARS Class taught by one of our law enforcement officers.
Thanks to KPMG’s generous donation of 150 backpacks full of books and school supplies, each camper at our overnight camp went home with a backpack and was able to add 5 additional books thanks to our book donations from The Children’s Book Bank.
At both camps, we talked about the qualities that make up good people in our communities, and at the end of the week, we recognized our volunteers and revealed what they do in their day-to-day lives. We do this a bit differently at both camps but ultimately, the end-of-the-week ceremony shows the campers that the individuals who they have grown to know are people in their community who sincerely care about them and that they are humans just like them.
The feeling from all campers and parents this year was simply gratitude for having the opportunity for these youth to attend a free overnight or a low-cost day camp that their parents wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. Despite still having lower numbers at both camps, our volunteer staff who come from first responders, military, and housing authority agencies, were able to make valuable connections with today’s youth and show them that they matter and that there are people in their community who care about them and want them to achieve their dreams no matter what the challenges they may face in their daily lives.
In addition to both of our camps, we partnered once again with the Sunshine Division and the Portland Police for their 21st annual Izzy’s Kid’s Shop with a Cop event on August 23rd, 2023, at Fred Meyer. Each of the 230 children received a $150 gift card to Fred Meyer for back-to-school shopping and was paired with an officer from the Portland Police Bureau or a deputy from Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office to help them spend it on new clothes, shoes, and school supplies!
Finally, in 2023, we had three campers who were enrolled in our Star Fund educational savings grant program graduate from high school and enroll in furthering education, with even more scheduled to graduate in 2024. We are excited to see more campers graduate and reach for the stars as they pursue their goals and dreams.
Without your help, none of these opportunities for youth from low-income families would be possible. Thank you again to all of our supporters who attended and/or donated to our 2023 Taste of Camp, Golf Tournament, and Tea Party fundraisers because we couldn’t have served 560 children without you!
Happy New Year and may 2024 be even better than the last!