North Philly Middle Schoolers Have Outdoor Fun Thanks To Jill Scott Summer Camp

by Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Middle school children from North Philadelphia are getting a fun outdoor experience at Camp Jill Scott, courtesy of the Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter.

Her Blues Babe Foundation provides an annual week-long summer enrichment camp for under-served 4th-to-7th graders, according to Jill Scott Summer Camp Coordinator Synae Williams.

“To be out of their surroundings. To see nature. You know, like trees,” said Williams. “It may sound crazy, but they love to explore different animal life, like bugs.”

Briarwood is described as “30-acres of unplugged fun in the sun.”

While not in the pool, basketball and volleyball courts, climbing the rock wall, and scooting down the zip-line, kids sit on outdoor bleachers to learn contemporary styles of math, science, arts, technology, and engineering.

Camp attendees participate in a science lesson. (credit: Steve Tawa)

Camp attendees participate in a science lesson.
(credit: Steve Tawa)

While checking out surrounding trees, 10-year-old Shamir Byrd contemplated making paper from trees, but then explained the science of how trees produce oxygen.

Shamir: “The trees clean the oxygen out.”

Tawa: “That’s why you don’t want to cut down trees for paper.”

Shamir: “Yeah. I’d rather have oxygen than paper.”

Inspired by her humble beginnings in Philadelphia, sponsor Jill Scott wants to make sure that at-risk youngsters, their focus is 9-to-12-year olds, do not find their education stalled due to a lack of support.

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