'Camp Skychild' offers summer fun after a two-year absence

'Camp Skychild' offers summer fun after a two-year absence
Posted at 4:56 PM, Aug 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-09 19:51:40-04

"Camp Skychild" is back after a two-year hiatus. It is a joint service-learning project between the University of Providence and St. Vincent de Paul. This camp is open to children ages five to twelve who have a parent in the social welfare or criminal justice system, as well as other children in need.

“This is an opportunity for children to go to camp free and to be kids, which is so important,” said Deb Kottel, a legal and paralegal studies professor at UP who oversees the program.

University of Providence partnered with St. Vincent de Paul to host the 29th annual kids camp, where UP students and staff and other community partners volunteer.

“I’m super grateful just to be another helper in their life in a sense,” said Genesis, a junior volunteer at the camp.

“If your parents were in prison, you’re six times more likely to enter the criminal justice system yourself, so there’s a cycle there. And so I challenge the students in terms of how there are different ways to break and go beyond the circle, which is what we called the original grant,” said Kottel. “This is an idea we came up with and we just decided to run with it.”

This year the camp is accompanied with the launch of a new outreach program, the Children’s Read for Life Program.

The news release states that the Children’s Read for Life Program was designed in hopes of improving reading skills and critical thinking levels among at-risk children while targeting the growing illiteracy problem the community now faces.

To learn more about the camp, or get information about next year's camp, contact Deb Kottel at