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After six weeks of fun and educational workshops, making new friends, and trying new things during weekly offsite field trips, our Prevention Department’s summer camp, Rise N’ Shine celebrated another successful summer with its end of the summer finale on August 8th. The finale is meant to highlight what the participants have learned and accomplished during the camp and this year the participants showed off a ton of new talents.
The finale began with lunch and the viewing of display tables from the camp’s workshops. At the baking workshop table, the participants shared three different types of chocolate bark, a homemade chocolate candy with yummy toppings. A poster board displayed with the delicious dessert shared what the girls had learned in the workshop, with tips like, “Read the recipe first or you could make a big mistake!” and what they liked most about baking, “You get to have a tasty treat and you get to make desserts with your friends,” one girl shared. Throughout the finale, each girl excitedly shared the sweet treat with her family and friends. “My aunt didn’t believe that I helped make this!” one new baker exclaimed.
After lunch, Berta Malec, Family Services Case Planner, introduced the main event, a rendition of the musical Annie to be put on by all of the Rise N’ Shine participants. A result of the Turning Books into Plays workshop, the girls learned different portions of the musical that, when performed together, allowed the girls to seamlessly tell the entire story. After weeks of preparation and practice, each group excitedly and enthusiastically preformed their parts, with short breaks of applause in between scenes. For the final scene, all of the girls joined the stage and gave a sterling rendition of “Tomorrow”, with huge smiles on their faces.
Before it was time to say goodbye, each participant was recognized for her accomplishments in the award ceremony. The youth leaders called up the girls they helped supervise all summer and proudly awarded them a certificate of completion. Along with their certificates, each girl received a copy of the 2014 Rise N’ Shine yearbook. Created by the 11-14 year old group, this year’s book had a super heroes theme. The colorful yearbook included photos of each girl, quotes from participants, and fun pictures of workshops and field trips. After the ceremony ended, the girls excitedly asked their friends to sign their books while saying their final goodbyes. “I will always remember the youth leaders and all of my friends”, proclaimed one girl. Indeed, thanks to Rise N’ Shine, it was a summer the participants will never forget.