Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Jay Flint: Local businesses helped summer camp weather hard times

To the editor:

It’s hard to stay optimistic about the financial recovery. Daily bombardment of economic reports, regardless of their intent, tend to leave my perception of the world in a worse place. I’ve read that the fall of discretionary spending is a bad sign, even when other indicators are up. People are eating out less, reducing their clothing allowance and not replacing things if what they own is still limping along. However, I’ve been hearing all summer about camps having lower enrollments this year, and this news does not sit right with me.

I believe in spite of economic difficulties, most parents do their best every year to give their children the birthday party they’ve been anticipating. They celebrate the holidays the same way their children are accustomed to. But summer camp, which kids look forward to with excitement, comes with a much larger price tag. Whether kids attend during the day or overnight, their camp experiences create deep-rooted and unique memories which last the rest of their lives.

Despite the reduction in financial resources at many levels, there is one source that has continued to lend a hand in what I hope is the last leg of our financial recovery race. If you are hoping I am going to divulge some previously untapped government entity, or a well-hidden nonprofit organization, then you might be disappointed. Our own local businesses have been our consistent supporters each year. And this year, when family finances slipped, those same businesses stepped up even more.

As a father of four, I want to thank all businesses for any support they give to their local camps. As a member of the Camp Shemesh committee, I want to specifically thank Amherst College, Brueggers Bagels, Big Y, radio station Hits 94.3, North Amherst Motors, Sibie’s Pizza, Target and Trader Joe’s. Their kindness and generosity made a big difference this year to the children in our community; but as with most good investments, the impact on our children will be realized in the years and decades to come.

Jay Flint

Leverett

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