Did you ever get a chance to go to summer camp? While I had a lot of great childhood experiences, summer camp was not one of them – it was not something my family could afford. I got lucky the summer after my senior year of high school and was able to attend the National Youth Science Camp in West Virginia and loved it, but being 18 it was certainly a different experience than that of younger kids.

While I was teaching in Oakland, I took each class of students every year to an overnight nature camp called Vida Verde. This has proven transformational for these students – as I have watched them graduate from high school over the past few years, I hear about Vida Verde’s impact on their lives – even though it was many years ago when they were just 10 or 11 years old. Experiences in the outdoors matter.

So it might not surprise you to hear that when some of my amazingly talented friends decided to start a summer camp for kids in Oakland who otherwise wouldn’t have that opportunity, I was inspired to help out. I’ve donated money and time, and I’m one of three founding board members for the organization.

Our first camp (a 3-week overnight camp where kids will have fun, build academic skills, and generally enjoy life in a beautiful natural environment) is just 23 days away, and I’m writing to ask you to be a part of making sure we can have a successful first camp. We have been raising money, and we’ve nearly reached the amount we need to purchase food and supplies, pay for the camp site, have insurance, etc.

But we’re still thousands away from what we need, and I’m asking for your help. Can you make a contribution today of $25, $50, or $100 to help us make this happen?

What do you get for your donation? You get 36 kids (rising 6th graders) who will have a life-altering summer and come back to Oakland with a fundamentally different outlook on life. They will be significantly more likely to graduate high school, complete college, and go on to do big things in life. 

Please join me in making this possible, and thank you in advance. I know that so many of my friends will answer this call and pitch in when we most need it. Your generosity is appreciated.

Here’s where you can donate: