pre-vocational training and socialization activities
for 42 youth with developmental disabilities in Macon County
What is Camp EARTH?
Camp Earth is a six-week summer program for youth ages 14-21. Participants will benefit from this hands on experience working in area neighborhoods to enrich the environment and their surroundings.
How does a student qualify?
Spots for Camp Earth are limited. To qualify for the summer program, a potential student must fill out an application and go through an interview process. Students are divided into groups, with each group working on several projects in a different location in the county. Groups work together helping one another, going on outings, playing games and learning.
How does Camp EARTH benefit participants?
Camp EARTH provides youth with developmental disabilities pre-vocational work experience through hands-on horticultural work, environmental clean-up and beautification work.
Programming focuses on improving self-esteem, developing a positive work ethic and teaching cooperation, communication and responsibility that will help increase the youth’s employment skills. Besides learning to landscape, the students attend educational field trips, have motivational speakers on many different topics and are also learning socialization, team building and having fun. The ratio of staff is 1 to 3 staff/students in each group. The groups go out into the community to beautify city parks, schools and businesses in Macon County. The students learn to landscape and garden by planting, weeding, mulching, and designing the layout of the plants.
Camp Earth participants learn new skills and improve social skills with the guidance of staff, many of whom return to these positions each summer. Camp Earth staff are often also employed by the school district during the school year, so they are acquainted with many of the clients and their needs.
“I am as thankful for this program as this gives my child an
opportunity to learn teamwork, be with her peers and have fun.
If not for this program, she would have been at home
watching television and playing video games.”
—Parent of Camp EARTH student
In 2013 the organization was awarded 1st place in the Medium Business Category for the Let’s Keep Decatur Beautiful contest for the wonderful work they did in landscaping Independence Pointe.
To learn more contact:
MRI Kids Connection
2715 N. 27th St.
Decatur, IL 62526