Camp South Hampton

Camp South Hampton is a public-private partnership between the City of Birmingham school system and the Rotary Club of Birmingham. In 2011, as a result of the tornado that destroyed much of the Pratt City community, the RCB committed to providing significant resources for a camp in the summer of 2011. The camp provided a respite for young children and their families who were victims of the deadly tornadoes. As follow-on to that major effort, the RCB and the Birmingham Schools committed to provide Camp South Hampton again in the summer of 2012 and continuing annually.

Camp South Hampton was created with a dual purpose. First, it provided an opportunity to assist inner-city children in regaining their sense of safety and security while at the same time providing safe and fun educational day care for families. The second aspect of the program was to provide meaningful employment opportunities for economically disadvantaged and other qualified youth ages 16-21.

Specific goals for the camp traditionally were:

  • Provide a positive reason for displaced families to return to their damaged neighborhood.
  • To help youth gain a feeling of safety and security in their community.
  • To provide basic skills, computer instruction, arts and crafts, organized recreation and special educational activities for youth ages 5-13.
  • To help youth acquire essential business skills and a solid work ethic.
  • To help youth develop a sense of employment responsibility, self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • To provide meaningful work experiences for youth ages 16-21.

Camp South Hampton stresses the importance of quality, meaningful work experiences and how classroom instruction translates into marketable skills that can lead to gainful employment. Camp South Hampton coordinates with various agencies to maximize youth employment skills. It also provides an appropriate curriculum to serve the needs of children participating in the camp. The camp employs two teachers, one from grades K-5 and a second from grades 6-8, to assist the counselors in developing appropriate daily lesson plans and instructions. Campers needing specific academic help receive individualized academic assistance from one of the teachers. The camp curriculum consists of cultural enrichment, reading, writing, mathematics, recreation, sports, field trips, arts and crafts, social skill development and play therapy. The camp brings many different organizations to assist the students and to enhance their enjoyment as well as to provide them an enjoyable learning experience. Additionally, if students are in need of non-academic assistance, one of several partner agencies may be called upon to provide the needed services. Community collaboration and coordination are the keys to the camp’s success.