Summer Day Camp for Micah House Kids

7/23/14 Citizens Church helps organize summer day-camp program for Micah House children in Redlands

Circus tents, balloons, banners and performers on stilts and unicycles greeted children from the Micah House after-school program as they arrived at the Burrage Mansion in Redlands recently for a free summer day-camp program.

The five-day program was organized by high school friends who have reconnected — Chris Norman, pastor of Citizens Church in Redlands; Norman’s wife, Tatum; and Lisa Salas, the new coordinator of Micah House’s Oxford Drive site.

Chris Norman provided the vision and a group of 90 volunteers, and Citizens Church funded the day-camp project with help from local donors including the Gourmet Pizza Shoppe and the Great All-American Youth Circus.

Citizens Church, one of Redlands’ newest churches, meets 10 a.m. Sundays at the Fox Event Center, 123 Cajon St., Redlands.

When Chris and Tatum Norman reunited with Lisa Salas, a longtime friend from their high school days, the three started brainstorming ways they could work together.

“It was amazing to see we had the same vision for the youth in our community,” Salas said.

Micah House, an outreach of the Trinity Community Foundation, began as a partnership between Trinity Evangelical Free Church in Redlands and the Redlands Police Department more than 12 years ago. The program, with sites on Oxford Drive and Chapel Street, serves youth in north Redlands.

David Wilson, director of Micah House, said, “Partnerships have been the key to our success in reaching the next generation.”

Salas and the Normans envisioned a summer day camp for children who, because of financial need, wouldn’t normally have an opportunity to attend such an event.

As they developed the idea, they realized they needed a space large enough for more than 300 children and nearly 100 volunteers.

Micah House’s partnership with the Rochford Foundation’s Burrage Mansion provided the perfect location. The Rochford Foundation and its director, Ellen Timothy, have made the Burrage Mansion and its 17-acre grounds in Redlands available to Micah House and other local nonprofit organizations that work with young people, and the Citizens Church–Micah House day camp fit into the foundation’s schedule.

“We are so thankful for our partnership with the Burrage Mansion for allowing us to use their beautiful property,” said Wilson, who is also a pastor at Trinity Evangelical Free Church.

“We are also thankful for our new friends at Citizens Church for organizing a camp like no other,” he said.

Citizens Church provided planning and oversight for the program, in addition to funding.

Micah House students and friends from their neighborhood rode a school bus each morning to the Burrage Mansion and joined other Redlands children in water games, Bible stories and arts and crafts.

“All of us here at Micah House are really excited about the connection made with Citizens (Church) and their vision for Redlands,” Salas said. “New events are already in the planning stages.”

Source: Micah House

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