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Christ Church Outreach News: June 15, 2023

Reach Out to West Baltimore Youth by Volunteering at SLYC Day Camps

Make this summer special for yourself and the youngsters whose lives you’ll touch. Consider volunteering at St. Luke’s Youth Center (SLYC) summer day camp. Maybe you have skills to share in music, arts, crafts, or cooking. Maybe you are an old hand at tutoring or a novice. Maybe you already plan to teach at Vacation Bible School and next want to experience working with slightly older children. Here’s your chance.

Day campers ages 5 to 13 will attend sessions of SLYC’s Camp Imagination, to be held from July 5 to Aug. 4, at two sites in Baltimore. Locations are the Cathedral of the Incarnation, 4 E. University Parkway, Baltimore, Md, 21218, and the Church of the Good Shepherd, 1401 Carrollton Ave., Towson, MD 21204. That’s partly because SLYC’s campus is under renovation.

SLYC has held Camp Imagination since 2015, inspiring a love of reading and writing through the visual and performing arts. During the six weeks, SLYC engages 30 to 35 campers, eight teenage counselors, and four community staff members.

Parishioner Michon Semon, who is SLYC’s liaison on the Outreach Commission, can tell you what it’s like volunteering. You can see her photo among the adults pictured on SLYC’s volunteer registration form. For information, please email

As previously noted in our Outreach Blog of June 1, 2023, Christ Church has helped defray expenses for Camp Imagination to help families whose children otherwise cannot afford to attend. In response to our 2023 donation of $1,000, SLYC Executive Director Amanda Gardner Talbot expressed gratitude: “Your generosity helps us continue our mission of providing a safe and nurturing environment for the young people and their families in our West Baltimore community….Thank you again for your commitment to SLYC!”

Thanks to all, as the funds come from the commission’s Vestry-approved budget that is derived from pledges and contributions. Christ Church is among SLYC’s partners, along with secular supporters, other parishes, and the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland.

Last Call: Help Claggett Offer a Getaway for Special-Needs Adults

The Claggett Center, which is the retreat, camp, and conference center of the diocese, has called for volunteers from parishes such as Christ Church to help staff Special Challenge Camp for independent adults who have developmental disabilities. Campers arrive at the scenic center near Adamstown, Md., on Sunday, July 23, and are picked up on Thursday, July 27. In between, activities include nature hikes, swimming, fishing, canoeing, arts and crafts, and daily chapel.

“It takes many hands for camp to run successfully, and we have volunteer roles available for both short-term help, such as assisting with setup for special events and supporting campers with daytime activities, and full-week volunteers, who stay at Claggett for the week to help campers with day-to-day life at camp,” says Claggett Programs Director Rita Yoe.

Please make a decision this week so that you can immediately complete the required background check. It’s due a month in advance, or by Friday, June 23; Yoe says the typical process is rapid. For Claggett’s volunteer information sheet, email

Special Challenge volunteers arrive for pre-camp training and preparation on Saturday, July 22. Some volunteers have already arranged for alternative, make-up training on Saturday, June 17 at 9 a.m.

That allows people to make a day of it. Saturday, June 17, is the date of the consecration of the Delaplaine Barn, scheduled from noon to 3 p.m. The bishops of Maryland and Washington will conduct a worship service of thanksgiving and will commission the camp staff. For details and to RSVP, go to Claggett Barn Grand Re-Opening. Or plan to attend a ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 22. Organizers prefer RSVPs for both events, which are free.

Christ Church is a camp supporter, having recently donated $1,700, as described in the Outreach Blog of May 25, 2023. That covers one adult at Special Challenge Camp and one child at Camp Spirit Song, for those touched by a loved one’s opioid substance use disorder.

Columbia Community Care Sets Up for Summer Distributions

Columbia Community Care (CCC) has resumed distribution of free groceries, produce, baby supplies, and essentials at all three of its sites for the summer. You can find information about its seasonal plans on the CCC Group on Facebook. Volunteers are needed at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center, 10431 Twin Rivers Rd.; Long Reach Village Center, Suite 9, 8775 Cloudleap Ct., and at Oakland Mills Middle School, 9540 Kilimanjaro Rd., all in Columbia.

Recipients are welcomed on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon, or when supplies run out, and volunteers are encouraged to register for their slots at each location. Those shifts last from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Signups for volunteers are posted through the end of the year for each site: Wilde Lake, Long Reach, and Oakland Mills.

At Christ Church, Leigh Smith is our representative who takes parishioners’ donated items to CCC. Please collect diapers, baby wipes, sanitary and personal care items, and adult diapers. Put them in the yellow bin, marked “CCC,” inside the Parish Hall.

Donate Snacks, Crackers, and Cookies to FISH in Bin on our Breezeway

Organizers for FISH of Howard County are continuing to ask for cookies, crackers, and snacks to fulfill their shopping lists. The yellow bin is back in its spot between Old Brick and the Parish Hall. Thanks for your contributions to our neighbors in need.

In general, if you have suggestions about ways to help the community, if you want to get involved, or if you need assistance, please email Christ Church Outreach at Your help is greatly welcomed and appreciated. Thank you.


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