• Mary-Claire Johnson

Thrive 9th Ward Kicks Off Summer Camp with 125 Kids

The Thrive 9th Ward Community Center is kicking off summer with a bang. This years NORD summer-camp started June 3rd and every spot is filled, with 125 energetic campers joining the staff each day.

“Our camp includes 125 kids, making us one of the largest camps in the city and we were one of the first to completely fill up,” Executive Director Oscar Brown said, pointing out the victory.

Thrive 9th’s acclaim from the neighborhood isn’t their only success, the camp has a 12 member intern staff that are all native to the 9th Ward and the Desire Neighborhood. Many of these interns have attended the summer camp as youths and are now showcasing their leadership abilities and giving back to their community in a positive way by encouraging the next generation to follow in their footsteps.

“We don’t go out and hire people to run our summer camp. We use our high school and recent college students that were once in our camps to lead our camps because we have the leaders to do that,” says Brown.

Oscar Brown’s own legacy began when he started working with Desire Ministries when he was in high school as an intern for the summer camp, organizing games and skits for the children. “I knew how important that time was because I remembered that time as a kid. So, I definitely wanted to make sure I did that well,” he says.

Now Oscar serves as the Executive Director of the Thrive 9th Ward program and believes the number of kids enrolled in this years summer camp displays the program’s rooted history in the Desire Neighborhood.

This summer's camp includes six weeks of fun activities for the kids, including art classes, dance classes, basketball, majorette, a Reading Intensive Program, storytelling, and swimming lessons. Each week the children will be taking on a new adventure with invigorating field trips to places like the zoo, the aquarium, and even a magic show!

And the kids aren't the only ones having fun!

Parents are encouraged to join in on the activities at Sip N' Paint. Sip N' Paint is a parent hang-out time that provides a laid-back atmosphere for parents to relax, build relationships with other parents, and the Thrive 9th Ward staff, while their children play. “We are committed to the entire family and we want to get them involved,” Oscar says.

On what to expect for this years summer camp, Oscar Brown says, “you can expect us to have a blast of a summer camp, and you can expect us to be identifying and raising up new leaders.”



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