Popular children’s camp needs counselors in order to serve more inner city kids

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NASHVILLE, Ind. — Happy Hollow Children’s Camp, a popular place for inner city youth, is in desperate need of camp counselors in order to serve more kids. Happy Hollow has welcomed young people from the greater Indianapolis area for the last 70 years, giving kids a week of fresh air and memories.

“I got the opportunity to go here when I was younger, and it was a place of firsts,” Lauren Graves, a counselor from Indianapolis, said. “My first horse I’ve ever seen, the first arrow I’ve ever shot, the first time I ever got to ride a kayak.”

Happy Hollow brings in youth, ages 7 to 14, from urban Indianapolis and surrounding areas to this rural camp for a week to play, learn and grow. The camp also hosts week-long sessions for children with medical conditions. This week is Asthma Camp.

The remaining sessions are city camps. Each session is currently full, with dozens of children still on the waiting list.

“This year we have about a third of the staff that we normally hire, and because of that, we have not been able to serve the higher number of kids possible,” Bernie Schrader, Executive Director, said.

Schrader said they need counselors immediately, especially guys. Happy Hollow follows the American Camp Association’s accreditation standards which means a counselor for every six campers.

“If you’ve only got five counselors, you can only serve 30 kids,” Schrader said. “And you know, that’s why we’ve dropped from 40 staff down to 10 staff.”

Schrader said the camp is also in need of a paramedic or nurse for the session running July 5 through July 9.

“That is really a critical situation for us,” Schrader said. “More than likely we would not be able to run that session. We have a number of kids already signed up for it.”

Though their stay is merely a week long, counselors know that’s enough time to enrich kids’ lives.

“It’s just a lot of new experiences, it’s a lot of new friends, it’s a lot of good memories and it’s just a good place to be,” Graves said.

You can find more information at www.happyhollowcamp.net.

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