St Augustine Lighthouse and Museum Executive Director Kathy A. Fleming, reported to Historic City News that 45 scholarships were awarded for local at-risk students to attend Lighthouse Ancient City Explorers Summer Camp that started today.
The enthusiasm began for the students as they ascended the 219 steps to the top of one of the city’s most recognizable landmarks.
Excited chatter filled the 140-year-old tower at the St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum this morning signaling that camp is in full swing, with six weeks of camp programming scheduled for June and July.
“We are so thankful for all of the fundraising support and donations received from the St. Augustine community,” Fleming told Historic City News managing editor, Michael Gold. “From online contributions like the Sertoma Club’s Indiegogo campaign to the countless folks who have dropped off craft supplies, so many people have helped make this camp possible for our local students.”
Nearly 100 students, grades K-5, will participate in the camp over the next four weeks.
Each week will highlight a different segment of St. Augustine culture including British, Menorcan and African-American heritage. In addition to discovering maritime culture at the lighthouse, students will also explore other historic St. Augustine sites and enjoy a sailing excursion onboard the Schooner Freedom.
Through their Indiegogo campaign, the St. Augustine Sertoma Club raised more than $4,500 for the Steve Senecal Scholarship Fund. The fund will provide around 27 scholarships for summer camp as well as the holiday and spring break camps also hosted by the museum. Scholarships are awarded by the St. Johns County School District to recipients who show academic promise, but lack the financial means to attend camp.
Other community partners who contributed to the museum’s 2014 summer camp programs include the Barbara A. Kay Foundation, Diane’s Natural Food Market, Old Town Trolleys, the Consortium of Florida Education Foundations, the St. Johns County Education Foundation, Baker Pest Control and Chick-Fil-A.
In addition to providing students with science, technology, engineering, arts and math experiences, the museum’s camp program also provides snacks and lunches for campers. For many local students who rely on free or reduced lunch programs to receive meals during the school year, this fulfills a critical need.
Beginning July 14th, the museum will also offer two sessions of ship modeling camp for older students who have completed grades 5 – 8. This unique camp combines elements of history and architecture. Volunteers from the museum’s traditional wooden boatworks and ship modeling group will assist students with interactive projects during each week-long session. Scholarships from this camp were provided by the Barbara A. Kay Foundation.
Openings are still available for the last two sessions of Lighthouse Ancient City Explorers Summer Camp (June 23 – 27; July 7 – 11) and both sessions of ship modeling camp (July 14 – 18; July 21-25).
To sign your child up or make a donation to support camp programming, visit staugustinelighthouse.org.