Nonprofit offers summer camps, scholarships despite COVID losses


PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — With summer now officially here, summer camps are underway in Portland — and one local camp is creatively moving forward after COVID-19 closures resulting in revenue losses.

The Vibe of Portland is a local camp that offers art and music opportunities for kids throughout the summer. Due to pandemic-related closures, the camp lost both of its physical studios. Now its partnering with other nonprofits to ensure the camps go on.

Dunja Marcum, the program director for Vibe of Portland, said they’re using other organizations’ locations instead of searching for new spaces.

“Community organizations — we’re all in the same boat. We’re all like, ‘What are we going to do, how do we get through this? What is it going to look like?'” Marcum said. “We predicted that once things opened people were going to want to join us. They’re going to want to partake in these classes and in these camps and events. So, I got a great reception.”

The Vibe of Portland is happily partnering with East Portland Collective, Green Tulip Peace Nature School and the Portland Moose Lodge. Highlighting this cross-city collaboration, the nonprofit has now adopted the slogan “Together we emerge stronger.”

The Vibe of Portland Summer Camps

With the Vibe’s summer camps underway, scholarship opportunities are now open. Camp organizers want to get the word out they have scholarships available for families who need some extra help.

The Vibe of Portland applied for a grant from the Oregon Community Foundation to run a full program of summer camps — called Vibe Summer Academy: Dreaming Tomorrow. This camp is focused on offering full scholarships to kids and teens who primarily live in the Lents, Brentwood-Darlington and surrounding Southeast Portland neighborhoods.

“Every week we’re going to have a different art and music camp and for families that have been affected by the pandemic, we’d like to bring their kids in,” Marcum said. “If you’ve been disproportionately affected, just email us really. If you’re not able to send your child to a day camp because of cost — be in touch with us.”

Based on the data, East Portland was hit particularly hard by COVID-19 — and camp directors hope this scholarship opportunity will draw those affected families in. For more information, visit their website.

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