Next-door Exploring

“By being with these kids, I hope that they will learn to be a part of their community, with the added bonus of being outside and enjoying nature."

- Hope Walters

Background Information

Hope Walters grew up in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina with her mom, dad, and little brother.  She had always noticed there were children on the opposite side of her neighborhood who did not enjoy the same privileges she had.  Hope attended Alzar School in Fall of 2017 and wanted to do something with the children living across the street from her. They had often greeted Hope on the street and she knew that she could positively impact their lives. In order for Hope to do this project, she decided to create a camp, where the kids could participate, with the goal to get the children outdoors, explore their neighborhood, and be involved in their community.

Implementation of Project

Hope got together an action team and started to plan for her camp.  Her volunteers were very helpful.  She met with a woman who worked at the recreational center, which is where most kids go to hang out. Unfortunately, many of the kids did not want to sign up, but Hope was told that she needed to communicate with them in order to get them to show up.  Hope talked to them the day before her project began, and the kids seemed interested in her plan. She explained to them that there would be a free lunch, along with games and prizes.  On the day of the first project, Hope had the kids meet up and introduce themselves to her and her action team.

“The kids seemed really interested in what I had planned. They wanted to go on walks and play fun games like scavenger hunts. I think that they were excited to spend time with new people.”

-Hope Walters

Results of Project

Hope and her action team spent time with these children in hopes of them becoming more involved in their community. As a result, Hope got more kids involved with her camp than she could have imagined. She had seven kids participate on the first day, and seven again on the second. The children had expressed their love of the program to Hope and her action team and told them that they would spread the word about her camp to some of their friends. The next weekend she had ten kids, and then on the last day she had thirteen participate, which was more than she could have hoped for.

The camp took place on Saturdays and Sundays of two weekends in March. On each day of the project, Hope had at least four people from her action team volunteer their time.

“This experience was very interesting, as it taught me more about the kids, as well as myself.”

– Sam Duncan, volunteer

Each day, Hope and her team spent four hours with the kids for four days. On her last day of camp, the children were sad to leave, thus Hope feels that it was a success.

“I never could have imagined how successful my project was. It was so rewarding for me to see them to be so happy to be with us, playing outside. They even brought us hand-picked flowers wrapped in pinestraw to thank us for what my action team and I had done.”

-Hope Walters

What’s Next?

Hope will be attending a boarding school next year in the fall of 2018 in Virginia. She hopes to continue this project over the summer of 2018 before she leaves. Hopefully, volunteers will take over for Hope while she is away and continue helping children explore the outdoors and be apart of a community.