Needing to find a way to engage students over the summer, Loyalsock Township School District introduced the Summer Adventure Literacy Camp.
"The whole goal of the camp is to provide a literacy experience," said Suzanne Foresman, assistant principal of Schick Elementary School and organizer of the camp.
Although the district used to have a summer camp available for elementary school-aged students, it was a budget casualty this past year.
"We didn't want to cut this program," said John Rhodes, Schick Elementary School principal.
Without a camp, Foresman said she received a phone call saying how children were playing without supervision.
"(The camp) came about because I got a phone call from Mrs. (Sherry) Griggs (supervisor of curriculum and instruction)," Foresman said. "She said, 'I think we need to do something for the kids.' "
Rhodes said since summer camps usually take months to organize, this left Foresman "scrambling" to put something together without any funds.
After making some phone calls, she was able to secure a $15,000 gift from an individual through the Degenstein Foundation.
The camp was invite-only and saw about 45 "at-risk" students attend. The guidelines set with the funding was that there needed to be lunch and trips - Foresman added a literacy aspect, as well.
"The gentleman that I know (who gave the gift), he understands the at-risk population. He was that," Foresman said.
The elementary students worked in classrooms of the high school Tuesdays and Wednesdays, with a field trip on Thursday. Each week of the camp had a theme, which determined activities and the trip students participated in.
Foresman said the entire camp was brought together with the help of three teachers, an intervention specialist and volunteers.
Trips included the Little League Museum, Taber Museum, Corning Museum of Glass and Penn's Cave.
Foresman recalled that when a tour guide at Penn's Cave was asking the children questions, the students could answer all of them.
"The gentleman was so impressed with their knowledge," she said.
Rhodes said the trips are important for the children to really learn the material in the classroom.
"When kids learn things they link it back to an experience," he said. "They read about it in a book and they talked about it, but until you do it, they don't know."
Foresman said she's happy knowing that the students are gaining memories through the program.
"For me, it's a very rewarding experience knowing that we have 40 kids having experiences they wouldn't have had (otherwise)," she said.
Although she said it sounds like a cliche, Foresman said the camp has given her summer a purpose: "I wanted their summer to be special."