A Fond Farewell To Summer

School has begun and cooler weather is rolling in! While everyone on campus was excited to return to routine, structure, and friends at school, it is bittersweet to say goodbye to summer. Summer at Calvary Home is always packed with lots of fun activities and opportunities. Here are the highlights from Summer 2021!

1. Tutoring with Miss Caroline and Mrs. Mary - As the old maxim goes, "If you don't use it you lose it!" This summer Miss Caroline and Mrs. Mary worked with each of the children to keep their reading and math skills sharp in fun ways.

2. Summer School - With the challenges that have arisen from the pandemic, several children needed a little extra help to catch up to their grade level. Several students received much needed academic attention in summer school. A huge thank you goes out to the teachers and staff at our local elementary school.

3. Lifeskills with Mr. Terry and Mr. Brant - Every Tuesday these two men dedicated their time and expertise to provide a lifeskills workshop for the children. This year's workshops included safety with tools, plumbing, auto repair and maintenance, dry wall repair, painting and staining, budgeting and finances, and interview skills.

4. Field Trip to Columbia - This is my personal favorite. Very early one June morning, 7 children and 3 staff members drove to Columbia for the day. We experienced the Riverbanks Zoo, EdVenture, and the State Museum. By the end of the day we logged 12 hours, 5 miles of walking, and 12,000 steps. Everyone slept incredibly well that night. :)

5. Horse Camp - Thanks to a grant, Calvary Home was able to pay for horse camp with Dark Horse Equestrian. Mark and Bekah Maddox do an incredible job training the children to work with horses for an entire week.

6. In His Wakes - For many summers now the incredible folks at In His Wakes have been coming together to provide a lake day experience for the children like no other! Children learn how to swim, tube, zup-board, and ski. More than that they learn how to conquer fears and have fun!

7. Summer Camp - Thanks to the generosity of the Sertomans, many of our children got to attend Summer Camp for the first time.

8. Summer jobs - Several students had off-campus jobs, and several found ways to make money on campus. One young man set up a car washing cart and he goes around campus washing vehicles. Another young lady began to clean the office building several times a week. Other children jumped in to help workgroups on campus with grounds maintenance. This allows children to earn their own spending money, while teaching them the direct connection between hard work and income. It is so fun to watch different children put their natural gifts and talents to work.

9. Other activities- If this list was not long enough already, children on Calvary's campus also attended soccer camp, technology camp, drama camp, volleyball, etc.

10. Vacations- Several of our foster families loaded up the vans and went on vacation this summer. One family always goes to Pigeon Forge, and another typically heads to Florida.

The real heroes of summer are the foster parents who juggle all the activities with a joyful heart. While summer is fun and free, it is honestly the hardest season for our foster parents. We are so thankful for their hard work and dedication to the children in their homes. While everyone is glad to be back in the swing of the school year, we look back fondly on Summer 2021.