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  • Taylor Dibbert

CHEER Gets Ready for Camp Piney Branch

Camp Piney Branch is right around the corner. Caroline Chance, a member of the CHEER team who has been teaching for twenty-nine years, is poised to play a big role in the camp. “I’ve always loved working with children,” Chance tells me. “I love what I do.”

Chance currently teaches at Takoma Park Middle School, where she’s been working since 2003. She loves helping children thrive. She’s taught math, special education and worked with students on inclusion. More recently, she’s worked with kids who are struggling.

This is Camp Piney Branch’s second year. The camp is free. Last year, the camp was done online because of COVID-19. Fortunately, this year the camp will happen in-person. CHEER hopes that between fifty and sixty kids will participate. In addition to getting breakfast and lunch through Montgomery County assistance, kids will be able to go home with a substantial snack. Those snacks are made possible by CHEER’s fundraising and your support.

CHEER is working with students in Title 1 schools, who are essentially in school year-round.

The camp will be held for two weeks at the end of June and two weeks in the middle of August. Summer school runs from early July to early August. “It [the camp] will give the kids an entire summer of things to do,” Chance says. The first day will be on June 21. It will run from 9am to 2pm during the week.

There will be community service days and science days. The curriculum includes an element of self-empowerment. Chance tells me that the camp seeks to empower children so that they can take pride in themselves and their community. Ultimately, the goal is for these kids to become community leaders. Children from second grade through middle school will participate.

“We want to give the kids a good fun time, a typical American camp experience, but then we also want to give them those opportunities to look at developing their character and creating a love for the community,” Chance tells me. The kids will come from Long Branch, on either side of University Boulevard.

Chance tells me that, after more than a year of lockdown, the camp is going to be a great opportunity for kids to work on their social skills.

A worthy cause. Supporting children in need. Building community. Helping young people become the best versions of themselves. These are things that go to the heart of CHEER’s mission.

Camp Piney Branch is a special initiative that’s only going to get better with time. Please consider making a donation today. Every little bit helps.


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