Jan 19, 2021

Exciting news!...

Camp Forest 2021 schedule
Camp Forest 2021 schedule

We may have to change a few things in terms of social distancing and mask-wearing, but we at Camp Forest are gearing up for a great 2021 season. Adam recently announced his intention to bring both his older children from Peru to join us for the camp season, and they will wow our campers with their jungle skills, deep ecological knowledge, and way of being in the world. 

We wish to thank you again for all of the help you have provided to make it possible for more campers to attend from Maine, where out-of-state children's camps tend to edge out the local competition. At Camp Forest, we cater to the local and the exotic in more ways than one. With an emphasis on local ecology and local children, we also infuse our teaching with the rich cultural globality of the diverse worlds we as staff and children inhabit. Check out this year's schedule above

And for those of you who have not experienced a Maine summer of swimming, canoeing, fire-making, tool-making, and navigation... what are you waiting for? Plan your way through the lingering snow by making summer plans today... and tell your friends!

As always, thank you for being part of our journey.

Camp Forest blends socio-ecological worlds
Camp Forest blends socio-ecological worlds
Come swim with us!
Come swim with us!

Links:

Oct 12, 2020

The new normal?

Karanja is our newest board member
Karanja is our newest board member

Wow, it's been an exciting couple of months at JWHS. 

On the US side, it may not surprise you that we are 100% in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, and we are turning our attention to our own operations, decision-making processes, and board makeup in an effort to 'decolonize' our organization. As part of this process, please join us in enthusiastically welcoming Joseph Karanja, P.A. in Michigan and former beneficiary of Expanding Opportunities, to the U.S. Board! We look forward to more board changes in the near future, so stay tuned.

We are also offering our website (ainamoja.com) as a platform to US-based black, African American, and indigenous artisans who would like to showcase their art on our site. So far, we are so pleased to offer Phaedra's (a former Maine resident) beautiful copper and silver jewelry on the site. If you know of other artists who you think we should be collaborating with, please let us know! Follow Phaedra on Instagram @thephorgerymetalwerkx or @pchigirl and shop at ainamoja.com and https://www.etsy.com/shop/Phorgerymetalwerkx.

During COVID19, we are fully educating most of our children at home in Kenya. To help make our curriculum stronger, we have partnered with the organization Ending Needs, who has provided us reading and educational materials. They connect our children to pen pals across the world and they are helping improve our English instruction. Also, we think Ending Needs is a great fit for Expanding Opportunities, based on the name alone!

In efforts to work with a new Child Services case manager, we have also done a lot of repairs and maintenance on our property in Kenya. We have replaced old mattresses, tiles in the bathroom, and gutters that were leaking our rain water. We are also working to upgrade our solar electrical system. It has been expensive, but worth it, and the place looks great!

Our newest child, let's call her "Tess" to protect her privacy, is still undergoing court cases, political turmoil, and counseling for trauma as she bravely seeks to testify against her abuser. She could use all the prayers and positive thoughts at your disposal as she recovers from childhood trauma no one should have to endure. Thank you to those of you who supported her financially and socially on Facebook in the last few months! Though her ordeal is far from over, your generosity enabled a supportive environment for her to adjust to her new life. She is beginning to trust Chege, Sarah, and Alice, and is fitting in with the other girls her age at JWHS. 

Beverly is on her way to the United States for a couple months to visit family. She will be in Florida and, we hope, Maine, so if you are there, please reach out to her while she is in town!

Meanwhile, Kenya is preparing to send children back to school. We don't know when the call will come, but when it does, we will have to provide school fees and uniforms for the 20 children we currently support in schooling. Please keep us in your thoughts, prayers, and pocketbooks as we adjust to the "new normal" in Kenya and within the organization, and thanks so much for keeping us in your hearts during these crazy times. We need you now more than ever!

With love and gratitude,

The ExOp Team

One of Phaedra's beautiful copper pendants
One of Phaedra's beautiful copper pendants
JWHS's little school
JWHS's little school

Links:

Sep 21, 2020

A Quiet Camp

Social distance disc golf in the Maine woods
Social distance disc golf in the Maine woods

Wrapping up what would have been a busy camp season, we at Camp Forest reflect on what our children are experiencing. We hope to be able to provide them both social and ecological opportunities in the coming year, but in the meanwhile, our thoughts are with them and their struggling parents as they navigate the return to work and school amid Coronavirus. 

In good news, we have received funds from a regional foundation, the Agnes M. Lindsay Trust to provide camperships to struggling families' children in coming camp months! We are so grateful for their mission and commitment to environmental education in experiential settings like ours. 

Be well this fall. Alongside you and your families, we are hoping for a gracious adaptation to 'the new normal' in the coming months, for peace and progress during election season, and for lots of time in the fall color.

Thanks for your help with our mission and your attention to our struggles!

The beginnings of fall color
The beginnings of fall color

Links:

 
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