Week-Long, Free Summer Camp in Rhode Island to Offer Safety and Fun to Children Who Witness Domestic Violence
Laura Marrin of Bristol, Rhode Island, is an aspiring lawyer and a junior at the Moses Brown school in Providence. While attending a mock trial in a Providence courtroom as a sophomore in high school, she witnessed a domestic-violence case. A woman with two children had brought a civil suit against her former boyfriend, but was unable to afford legal representation. Inwardly upset by this lack of legal service, especially because the defendant had a lawyer, Laura knew then that she wanted to do something to benefit the children of domestic violence. She dreamed of breaking the cycle of domestic violence by offering children a fun and free summer vacation. This year she will do just that, working with the clients’ children of Sojourner House, a domestic violence agency, based in Providence and northern Rhode Island, which was founded by Brown University students in 1976.
Called Camp Eureka, the day camp for boys and girls aged five through twelve will be held at a secure location that has donated its facilities. Camp activities will include arts and crafts, sports, guest speakers, and music as well as an educational component addressing domestic abuse. Already Laura has recruited adult volunteers, Spanish-speaking translators, teachers to lead activities, and her peers to volunteer as camp counselors. One anonymous donor will pay for a bus and fuel to transport campers back and forth each day. On May 20, she held an open house for campers and their parents, and she expects forty to fifty children to sign up for the week in August.
In addition to securing a facility and volunteers for the camp, Laura spent four months obtaining needed liability waivers and working on state compliance issues. During the project, she also lost her main mentor when the Sojourner House volunteer coordinator changed jobs. However, Laura has since worked smoothly with the nonprofit’s new volunteer coordinator. And Laura’s mother has been her biggest supporter; they’ve spent hours talking about domestic violence and the impact that Camp Eureka could have on its young campers. Currently, Laura is raising funds and materials needed to supply the camp.