Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
For over nine years St. Peter’s has had a relationship with Camp Get Along, a summer, then year-round program for children age 5-12 from what is now the Pennsport neighborhood. Camp Get Along was founded by the church of St. John the Evangelist, which used to be at 3rd and Reed Streets. It has faithfully served hundreds of children over more than 20 years, teaching them how to get along with others, particularly those who are different from them, and having a lot of fun in the process. When St. John the Evangelist was closed a few years ago, Camp became part of the Diocese of Pennsylvania’s CityCamp program, and found a new “home” at Church of the Crucifixion at 8th and Bainbridge. Unfortunately, that building is currently closed (and was closed last summer) due to the need for major repairs. So last summer Camp Get Along joined a camp planned for St. Simon the Cyrenian at 22nd and Reed. Many of those people who were involved at Camp Get Along from the beginning have decided that the time feels right to step away from the program and let it develop into something new at St. Simon’s. The summer program will continue there under the leadership of the Diocesan Youth Program and the members of St. Simon’s, and the year-round program has come to an end.
At the same time, part of St. Peter’s Way Forward includes re-imagining our children’s music program to better serve the needs of at-risk children. We are dreaming of an after-school program that provides music education, academic support, and mentoring. Towards that end we are planning for a one-week summer music camp program here at St. Peter’s and will be putting our energy and resources into that effort, while laying plans for an after-school program as well.
I am deeply grateful to Gina Caruso, Denise Colliers, and Sue Dudkin—St. Peter’s parishioners who faithfully served Camp Get Along for many years. I am also deeply grateful to Joan Pettit (St. John’s church) for her years of leadership and for making a difference in the lives of so many children.
If you have questions about this transition I would be happy to address them. And I look forward to our future of serving children in new ways at St. Peter’s.