The Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County (ADAMH) invests millions of dollars into prevention each year, most of which is focused on youth. ADAMH is proud to fund prevention services in 16 Franklin County school districts. But we also recognize that mental health needs attention and care 365 days a year. So, when school is out of session, ADAMH funds summer camps hosted by local organizations throughout central Ohio.
Through summer camp investments, ADAMH has the opportunity to support organizations that are not a part of our provider network, allowing us to extend our reach further into communities across Franklin County. This year, ADAMH funded 21 camps hosted by organizations outside our network in addition to seven camps hosted by provider agencies. This equates to an over $1 million investment in total.
These camps offer a structured yet nurturing environment that allows kids to learn about mental health and substance use prevention, acquire new skills, build resiliency and engage in fun activities they may not otherwise have the opportunity to experience. “Every child deserves to have a meaningful and joyful summer experience," said Nettie Ferguson, Provider Relations Manager at ADAMH who oversees summer camp investments.
Social and emotional learning (SEL) is at the heart of ADAMH-funded camps. SEL is defined as “the process through which all young people and adults acquire and apply the knowledge, skills and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.”
To put it simply, these camps are about more than their individual daily activities, which can range from a field trip to the zoo to arts and crafts projects. They’re about supporting the positive, healthy development of youth so that they can thrive. Many camps also support kids’ physical health by providing nutritious meals and activities that get kids moving.
Summer camps offer safe childcare alternatives for working parents and caregivers of elementary and middle school youth. Additionally, high school student interns earn community service hours toward graduation by assisting with facilitation and social media for these camps.
Organizations Funded in 2023
- Afrocentric Personal Development Shop
- Ark Builders
- Asian American Comunity Services
- Bantu Hope Foundation
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Ohio
- Columbus Public Health
- Columbus Recreation and Parks Department
- Community Development for All People
- Community for New Direction
- Cornerstone of Hope
- Directions for Youth and Families
- Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services-ETSS
- Festa (formerly SONS Ministries)
- Franklinton High School
- Girls Leap
- Home for Families Foundation
- Kaleidoscope Youth Center
- Lower Lights Ministries
- MY Project USA
- Ohio Hispanic Coalition
- Reaching Higher Heights 4 Life (FMBC)
- Schealthness Freedom School
- St. Vincent Family Services
- The Masters Preparatory Academy
- Your Life has Possibilities