Local teens help urban neighbors through ‘Summer Servants’ program

For the second year in a row, teens from the suburbs of Syracuse will participate with their churches to fill different needs in the city of Syracuse through the Summer Servants program.

Summer Servants is a one-week, overnight immersion camp where teens go to learn about service and their Christian faith. It is run through the Brady Faith Center.

This year 25 teenagers from DeWitt Community Church and Holy Cross Church in DeWitt, Eastern Hills in Manlius and St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Baldwinsville are participating. Summer Servants takes place during the week of July 8 to 13. It has doubled in size since last year, and is looking to expand to two weeks in 2013.

Participants stay with their adult leaders at DeWitt Community Church for one week, engaging in morning and night sessions, games, music and meals. During the day they break into teams and serve at: the Bishop Forey and Vincent House’s summer programs; community gardening and St. Lucy’s food programs; Brady Faith Center’s vacation Bible school; and in various locations doing minor home repairs for local residents.

“During Summer Servants teens get to see the needs in their own city, and get to make a real difference in individual lives,” said Andrea Jacobs, last year’s Summer Servants camp manager. “One girl noticed that in our city there are real bridges that separate the rich from the poor, and was amazed at how many people need help fulfilling their daily basic needs.”

Anyone interesting in bringing a group of teenagers to the camp next summer is encouraged to email summerservants@gmail.com for an invitation to the community dinner on Thursday, July 12, where teens will tell their stories from the week.

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