The Open for Summer Camp Initiative was proposed by Rasmuson in 2021 to support youth programs affected by the pandemic. As it became clear that ongoing assistance was necessary, the initiative was expanded to ensure that quality experiences remained available and accessible to young people throughout the state. This year, The Alaska Community Foundation and Rasmuson Foundation worked together to maintain the initiative and provide safe and well-staffed environments for young people in Alaska. Nonprofits, tribal groups, faith-based organizations, and local governments are all eligible to receive funds from this program. Fifty-seven camps were awarded $950,000 through the initiative this year.
The costs of transportation, counselors, and medics can make it challenging to keep camps convenient and affordable. To mitigate these roadblocks, the funds help cover staff training, transportation, and necessary supplies. Additionally, scholarships are provided to individuals who need help to afford enrollment fees. This aids campers and their parents, who can work during the summer break without worrying about expensive childcare costs.
This grant cycle will support many noteworthy projects. The Cordova Family Resource Center is using its funds to provide full and partial scholarships to underserved and at-risk youth, enabling them to attend camps at little to no cost. The Prince William Sound Science Center Camp’s four-day program will focus on a unique local ecosystem theme each day and use the resources made available by the grant to make the experience unforgettable. Additionally, North of Hope’s Our Family Fish Camp and Green House Garden Program will train participants to store fish in their freezers for the winter and help more families take advantage of the short growing season.
The list below contains all the organizations and exciting programs making this summer extra special for youth across the state.