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  • Fritzie Saintoiry

Cultivating Community, Inspiration and Good Times at Genesis Summer Camp

I’m filled with gratitude to have participated in Genesis Hopeful Haven’s Summer Camp Program, and attend their celebration at the Redlands House in early August.

What impacted me the most at Summer Camp was the mix of community, inspiration and learning, along with all the fun the kids shared together during the process.

The day of camp I attended I watched the kids write and create music. Thinking of lyrics together, developing beats with the DJ, and performing the finished product with in front of the entire room. This is not an easy thing to do, and it was inspiring to see each of them create and get out of their comfort zones in their own unique way.

Next, I watched interns from NOVA share an activity on team building. We worked and laughed as we tried building a structure with straws. Not the smoothest task with limited time, but watching the kids work together, and support each other made it worthwhile.

I’m grateful I also had the opportunity to share a few words and lessons with the kids; on gratitude, leadership, integrity, and relationships.   I’ve been fortunate to have had some positive mentors in my life, so it was a wonderful feeling to do the same for the kids at Genesis during camp.

We shared in open discussions as I asked them questions such as:

What are you grateful for?

What does being a leader mean to you?

How would you like to inspire other people in your life?

What are your goals and dreams you envision for yourself?

I was excited to hear all the well-thought, intelligent and enthusiastic answers. It was truly inspiring to see how the community, supportive and family environment Fritzie and Genesis Hopeful Haven have provided to give these kids the hope and confidence they need to support their dreams and aspirations.

Some other lessons provided to the kids was about relationship building and dreaming big, including the ideas:

“Treat others as you wish to be treated.”

“You can get whatever you want in your life, if you just help enough other people get what they want.”

“Change the word impossible to I’M POSSIBLE.”

A few weeks later, I attended the Summer Camp party at the Redlands House.   This was an EPIC celebration, so much fun! DJ playing music for hours, wild dance party going on in the dining room, lots of laughs, everyone moving, dancing and embracing life.

Along with the music and dancing, I enjoyed a few basketball games in the driveway with Josh and Alex, while other kids had a blast on the inflatable slide in the back and some friendly water balloon fighting going on.

What was also super cool and special was Fritzie handing out awards to all the kids, based on their improvement, focus and participation during camp.

Fritzie gave me a tour of the house, which has a beautiful garden with all sorts of fruits and vegetables growing. I also noticed all the inspiration in the house of past foster children who have achieved their dreams and went on to become famous and leave a positive impact on others.

From Pitbull to Louie Armstrong to Marilyn Monroe to Simone Bilas, these children are reminded that others have been in the same situation as them, yet persevered and thrived throughout their lives.

That is the foundation and the core of Genesis Hopeful Haven, and it’s founder, Fritzie Saintoiry – to provide support, hope, love, and an environment for these children to thrive, inspire, and live the life of their dreams.

Fritzie has become one of my closest friends, and I’m grateful to know her and be a small part of her organization.

Genesis Hopeful Haven is all about cultivating community. This community has the heart, spirit and soul needed to make a difference and empower the lives of many children. To help these children become the author of a life of their choosing, one of hope, love, faith, and success.

I’m excited to watch Genesis continue growing and inspiring all who are a part of this foundation!!

This Month’s Blog contribution was written by: Joe Metcalfe

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