Camp Lemon Aide, a camp run through the Lemon Aide Society, is everything a great summer day camp should be with the added twist of daily service projects that are meaningful, empowering and fun. The highlight of each week is a service project planned and executed by the campers themselves. From the location to what they will sell to whom they are raising money for, Lemon Aide campers plan every detail. The first session, which was held in a Plano neighborhood, campers raised $545 for East Lake Pet Orphanage; and at the third session, which was held at Campbell Green, campers raised $260 for Family Gateway. In addition to the money raised, the girls made blankets for Project Linus; spa treatment bags for After 8 to Educate; snack mix for the local fire station; inspirations rocks for Family Gateway; and Calm Down jars for children at Genesis Women’s Shelter.
New this summer, one of Lemon Aide Society’s teen mentors, Lindsay Shiller, planned and ran a camp for the children living at Family Gateway homeless shelter. Lindsay, mentored by Debbie Weinstein, Lemon Aide Society founder and director, planned a week of art, science, games and, of course, service projects. According to staff at Family Gateway, it was the highlight of the summer. Running this camp allowed the Lemon Aide Society members to get a glimpse of a life different from their own. “While children are children, the girls learned a lot about different cultures and circumstances. Like most camp activities, the children enjoyed much of what was planned; however, it was also necessary to modify intended activities to work with the Family Gateway children at their level, which was a learning experience for all involved,” said Weinstein. Lindsay summed it up best, noting, “The kids at Family Gateway are the same as any other kids; they just want to be themselves and have fun.” Joining Lindsay as counselors and CITs were Aliza Ruttenberg, Sophia Meyers, Elizabeth Gee, Josie Clifford, Sophie Gendason, Sophie Blum and Sari Margolies.