May 24 - Support Staff Orientation
May 25 - Counselor Orientation
May 26-May 30 - Camp Swift Session 1 2018
July 30 - Support Staff Orientation
July 31 - Counselor Orientation
August 1-August 5 - Camp Swift Session 2 2018
Other Dates to Know
Pre-Camp Orientation - all counselors are required to attend one of the following dates:
May 6th: 1pm-4pm
May 12th: 9am-12pm
*Both pre-camp orientations are held at 17835 N 44th Street, Phoenix, AZ 85032
Don't forget to stay connected with Swift through the newsletter and be the first to fill out your volunteer application when they are released in February!
Wanna share this amazing experience with your favorite friends?
Share the Swift Newsletter with them!
Special thank you to Allison Stachel for contributing this blog post!
I remember the first time I heard the words “Camp Swift” as an eleven year old girl waiting to pick up her brother up after his first summer volunteering. “Camp Swift,” the place where I had the opportunity four years later to be counselor for four different groups. “Camp Swift,” the place where I found my passion for helping economically disadvantaged youth. “Camp Swift” the two words that I say when people ask me why I changed my major to Education to become a teacher at a Title 1 school.
When I was a senior in high school, I dedicated a month of my year towards raising money for the Swift Youth Foundation through the AZ Gives campaign. When I made a fundraising page I was not only raising money to give children a fun and safe summer, but also a fair and equal chance in this world. While receiving help from my friends, family and community, I was able to raise enough money to send three campers to camp. When I returned to camp the following year, I came across three twelve-year-old campers that influenced my life.
Camper 1: He had a huge fear of boats.
When it was our time to canoe he refused to go near the water. I pretended that I was practically a professional canoer when I was younger and that we would go on the boat together and be perfectly fine. Little did this camper know that I had a huge fear of boats and always tried to convince myself out of getting on any kind of boat. After the camper finally agreed to get on the boat, it took only ten minutes into the canoe ride for the camper to thank me for helping him overcome his biggest fear.
Camper 2: He thought he was not strong enough.
When our group activity was on the rock climbing wall most of my campers grew full of excitement. However, for this camper he did not want to try because he thought he could not reach the top. For about a half an hour this camper held onto the wall and chose not to give up. Instead of begging to come down when he thought he hit his limit, the camper kept going and touched the top of the wall. This camper approached the rest of the activities we had with a new braveness that he had never seen before.
Camper 3: He felt as if he was not able to contribute a team as much as most people could.
When we played a large game of Capture the Flag with nearly fifty other people, this camper did not think he would be able to help the team win. He thought that he was not capable enough to be on the offense and steal the flag. However, this camper was able to realize how capable he was because he helped score the winning point. Now this camper knows that he truly serves a purpose in this world.
Three children, that due to the money that I helped raise, were able to receive influential and life changing experiences. Three children that inspired me to want to change lives in an educational environment as my everyday job. Three children amongst a group of ten boys that put aside their pride by showing true happiness when they lost a soccer game to a cabin of girls who played hard achieve their dream of winning. Ten boys among many children that had their lives changed because of the Swift Youth Foundation. Thousands of children that we can now rely on to change the world and turn it into an inclusive and positive one.
To donate and/or get involved in AZ Gives Day, visit AZ Gives!
Swift provides certainty in uncertain times.
I am certain of one thing, I am certain that the work we are doing at the Swift Youth Foundation is more important now than ever, and here’s why.
One constant I have noticed post 2016 election is uncertainty. From friends and family to the news and members of our community, it seems like everyone is uncertain of what is ahead regardless of a personal political stance. Despite this, you can be certain in the work of the Swift Youth Foundation.
As 2016 winds to a close, we start to anticipate the end of year rush that includes trying to fit everything in – shopping for gifts, finals, holiday cards, parties, vacations and yes, tax credits.
Your tax advisor will tell you to max out your tax credits to reduce your tax liability.
I will tell you that the charitable tax credit boosts your conscience in addition to your pocketbook.
At Swift Youth Foundation, the tax credit literally helps fund experiences that embrace positivity, change and philanthropy.
Justin, now a grown man, credits Swift with helping him escape his old gang alive and start a new life. He went to Swift overnight camp on a whim at the urging of a police officer at his school. He had never known a life other than one surrounded by gangs and drugs. He went on to be accepted to the naval academy and Berkley School of music, graduating high school with honors and scholarships.
As our admin staff met on night 3 of camp, we marveled at the fact that the air around Camp Swift felt even more alive and energized today than yesterday! Our Oldest Unit played a game of “Capture the Flag” across all of Camp, cabins went canoeing and hiking at a beautiful lake, and everyone enjoyed a delicious lunch of Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup.
In the middle of lunch, the Support Staff and Counselors surprised the Swift community with a flash mob! The Campers even got to join in at the end.
After a day full of fun activities, our Support Staff prepared Night Programs for each unit; Decathlon for Oldest Unit, College Visit for Middle Unit, and the Overnight for Youngest Unit. Each Unit has the opportunity to experience each Night Program before the end of camp.
College is fun, but it takes a lot of hard work! In the Decathlon Night Program, cabins get to learn about what it takes to not only make it to college, but to succeed when they are there. It might be hard to manage time, keep their room clean, and finish their homework, but after the Decathlon night program, Campers are on their way to excel!
The theme of Camp Swift this summer is College, and each Cabin is assigned a University. From University of Washington to Tulane University, Campers are learning about how unique each college is. At the College Visit program, Campers get to create a “promo video” for their Cabin’s school based on facts their counselors share with them. Did you know that the UCLA mascot is the Bruin, or the University of Alabama is in Tuscaloosa?! Our Campers are having so much fun learning about college, and what it takes to get there.
Even a bit of rain couldn’t keep our youngest campers from enjoying their overnight. After a delicious cookout dinner, the cabins sang and cheered while they made delicious s’mores.
It’s hard to believe we only have one more full day of Camp left…
The Grilled Cheese Gazette features blog posts from Swift staff, volunteers, and community members! Contact Us if you're interested in contributing to our blog!