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Michigan Kids C.A.T.C.H. Summer Fun


Little feet were moving and flying at C.A.T.C.H. Camp in Muskegon, Mich., this summer as 6- to 11-year-olds learned how to dance, rap, and sing—including a camp rap they continued to sing all summer.

Kids show off their moves during C.A.T.C.H. Camp.

The week of music and dance was one of seven weeks of the C.A.T.C.H. (Community Acting Towards Children’s Health) Camp started by Bethany Christian Reformed Church.

“The reason C.A.T.C.H. Camp is so important to the neighborhood is that it provides daily positive activities for children,” said Randy Vander Weit, director of youth and education at Bethany and co-coordinator of the camp. “When speaking to parents about the neighborhood, the most frequently mentioned need was activities for kids. We are meeting this need and in the process providing kids with a safe and fun place to spend their summer.”

C.A.T.C.H. Camp began in 2008 as a four-week summer day camp with a fine arts focus after Bethany Church tried to connect with neighborhood youth through a worship arts program. The next summer, with help from a neighborhood group and the Muskegon County Health Department, the camp was extended to eight weeks with a focus on fitness and nutrition.

Today the camp functions through partnerships from other local churches, businesses, and nonprofits, including Calvin Christian Reformed Church in Muskegon, whose Project SERVE teens hosted the week of dance and music.

Other weeks included trips to various places around the neighborhood so kids could learn about where they live. The camp also included trips to nearby lakes and dune buggy rides, which, according to the kids, was a highlight of the summer.

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