Thinking Outside the Box

Every year Highfields’ Reaching Higher after school program provides kids with the chance to have a summer camp experience. Although many camps have closed, it’s given staff the opportunity to think “outside the box” to provide a new experience for students called: “camp in a box!”

Staff from Reaching Higher schools have created over 700 custom boxes filled with various activities for students and their siblings. Staff have teamed up to personally drop off boxes to each student’s home at the beginning of each week. Their goal is to remind students, and their families, that they’re not alone during the challenging time, but also make sure to make the most of their summer.

“We really wanted to find activities for students to be able to do on their own,” said Brenda Weck, Reaching Higher Program Director. “We wanted to avoid burnout for parents, keep kids interested and still be able to have fun.”

Each box includes ten activities, as well as a ‘Welcome Letter’ to parents, advising them on which activities are messy, meant for outside or for younger children to avoid. Staff recognized that while some students have yards, there are also many who don’t have the same luxury. Creating activities that range from card games, to making indoor s’mores and crafts, gives kids of all backgrounds the opportunity for a fun summer.

Every box is hand-made with inside, outside and virtual activities. Students can create friendship bracelets, wind chimes, coffee filter art, and even build fairy gardens for their pet rocks! Staff also created videos with silly songs and virtual field trips for students to share with their families.

“Camp creates life-long memories,” said Brenda. “So, we’re striving to keep that same feeling for the kids at home.”

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