“I loved going swimming and being in nature. I also loved art and sports. Actually, I loved everything about camp!”

—Seven-year-old Natasja

Summer camp is not only fun for kids—it also helps build their self-confidence as they try new activities and make new friends. But not every child in Springfield has the chance to go to camp because of its cost. Parents who lack child care find it difficult to find affordable, safe opportunities for kids when school isn’t in session. Summer camp is the perfect environment for these youngsters, and it provides parents and caregivers with peace of mind that their child is being socially, emotionally, and physically engaged in a safe setting.

In 2016, Gándara Center first teamed up with the city of Springfield’s Department of Parks, Buildings, & and Recreation Management to offer the Aventura! Summer Camp Scholarship program for Springfield youth to attend one session of summer camp for free.

Here is what June, the mother of campers Hanna and Gabriella, had to say about the Aventura! Scholarship:

“I really appreciated this scholarship. My girls loved camp. It was great for their self-esteem—they tried new things and they learned how to deal different situations and how to get along with kids they didn’t know. Every day, when they got home, they talked about camp constantly, and I enjoyed hearing how their days went. And I liked the door-to-door service. I don’t drive, so having them picked up and dropped off also helped a lot. We’re already looking forward to next year’s summer camp.”

We need sponsors!

According to information collected from camp applications, a majority of families served by the scholarship program fell within in the “extremely low income,” “very low income,” and “low income” brackets. The Gándara Center is looking to its business colleagues to step up to the plate to help the agency send even more children to camp this year.

Simply put, Aventura! sponsors change young lives and help the community—their partnership truly makes a difference.

How do you become an Aventura! sponsor?

Print and fill out the PDF by Friday, April 5 and send it with your tax-deductible donation to:

Lisa Brecher
Director of Communications & Development
Gándara Center
147 Norman Street
West Springfield, MA  01089

Or choose to be invoiced later by emailing the sponsorship form to lbrecher@gandaracenter.org.

How will your sponsorship be recognized?

All Aventura! sponsors will be recognized as essential partners in providing this opportunity to the community. Our “Camp Director” and “Camp Counselor” sponsors will receive significant publicity and in all print and electronic marketing materials, including social media. Sponsors who would like to support the program at the “Friends” level will be acknowledged in all print and electronic marketing materials and receive thank-you letters from the children. Sponsors at the “Camper” level will be recognized on social media. All sponsors will be invited to an end-of-summer wrap-up session to see first-hand the benefits of their donor dollars.

Scholarship application and eligibility

Aventura! Scholarship applications will be available to Springfield area youth ages 5–18 beginning March 26. Parents will be required to complete the application and return it to the Gándara Center by Friday, April 19 and scholarship recipients will be announced during the week of April 22

Staff and campers