PATERSON – Camp YDP in Paterson has gotten a much needed facelift right before the summer season with a generous grant from Sherwin-Williams through the Rebuilding Together organization. Under the guidance of Executive Director Gretchen Viggiano, Rebuilding Together is a national organization aimed at making impacts on neighborhoods in need by picking a neighborhood or block and focusing on helping improve it in any way they can.
“I first spoke to Gretchen a few days after I started working at camp. She is so passionate about helping and kept trying to find ways to partner with us. When she was presented with the grant from Sherwin-Williams this year, she immediately thought of YDP,” says Camp YDP Director Bria Pierre.
Camp YDP, which serves children from age two and a half to 13 years old, has various programs including a full day preschool program, after school program and summer camp. In a city that is vastly underserved and ridden with all sorts of problems, Camp YDP strives to provide resources and broad sense of relief to the community. When the United Methodist Church partnered with Camp YDP in 2016, they dedicated themselves to helping them achieve this goal. Through donations, volunteering, and partnerships with outside organizations such as Rebuilding Together, they stay a beehive of activity and a beacon of hope for the community.
The Sherwin-Williams grant was perfect for the building, which is undergoing changes as Camp YDP continues to expand and improve, according to Pierre.
“Sherwin-Williams did everything. All we had to do was tell them what paint colors we wanted. They came in and assessed the needs of the building, and then came back with everything. And I mean everything. They arrived with the paints, supplies, and 40 volunteers! They painted the entire building in one day, and even did our exterior doors and picnic tables outside. It was unbelievable. And when they were done they said we should call if we ever needed anything else. They were truly excited to hear about the work we were doing.”
Pierre says the children were very excited with the changes. This has provided them with a fresh, clean space to thrive in. Volunteers were thrilled to see the looks of delight on the children’s faces when they walked in on July 2, the first day of the summer camp program. Enrollment for this summer is an estimated 100 children and Pierre says there will continue to be changes and improvements made to the building to provide these children with the best experience they can have.
Mary Boutin Scholarship Fund
Camp YDP is always looking for volunteers and donations to help with operations. Currently they are accepting donations towards the Mary Boutin Scholarship Fund. The late Mary Boutin was a devoted volunteer and board member at CAMP YDP until her sudden passing in 2016. She worked tirelessly with the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood and Citizens for Swimming to assure that campers had access to swimming lesson each summer at the Graydon Pool. CAMP YDP is committed to continuing her legacy by providing opportunities for the children of Paterson. To that end, they established the Mary Boutin Scholarship to help pay for various summer programs which will expose underprivileged youth to a wide array of special events and activities. The children will be participating in everything from wilderness survival at Lorrimer Sanctuary to STEAM classes (science, technology, arts, engineering and mathematics). The scholarships go to children who would otherwise be unable to afford these programs.
For more information or to donate, please visit www.campydp.org or call (973) 790-0887