EmBe teaches kids how to give back to the community

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — While most summer camps focus on fun and games, one camp puts focus on fun and change.

EmBe’s Camp Changemaker is a summer camp dedicated to showing middle schoolers the many differences they can make in their community.

Creating change is a passion that strikes big for sixth-grader Kamimila Meng.

“My mom was single and my brother and I… were homeless and living on the streets. And it makes me sad to see people on the streets, so I want to make a difference, like… put them in the homeless shelter, feeding them and giving them clothes,” Meng said.

This is Meng’s first time as a part of the camp, and it didn’t take long for a passion to spark.

“After the first day, I kind of felt something in me… like, different. Because it feels good to volunteer and help the community,” Meng said.

For the four days they are at the camp, they visit several nonprofits and learn what part they play in the community.

“Not everything has to cost you money. You can give of your time for free. You can do things for free. You can make donations, … there’re all kinds of things that anyone can do at any stage or place in their life,” Camp Director Jennifer Swenson said.

On their second day, they wrote positive messages outside the Helpline Center with the intention of spreading hope to anyone who may pass by.

“Just knowing that they can make a difference, even though… they may be only 10 to 14, but they can make a difference. I think, you know, if we make small changes, we can still have a big impact,” Swenson said.

Making positive change may seem like a lot for one person, but when you’re a part of this camp, you are not alone.

“I just think it’s important so that other people can be happy. Like, so people don’t be sad every day,” First time camper Liz Kockelman said.

“I’m looking forward to volunteer at more places… like, to help more communities and… see what’s out there,” Meng said.

The June camp ends this Thursday, but the July camp is still looking for future changemakers. It begins on July 8th.

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