“We cannot always build the future for our youth, but we can build our youth for the future.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt
On Wednesday, July 20th, Camp Wydaca and Oasis came together at our Annual Summer Celebration to commemorate 13 years of fellowship and sharing. In attendance at the lakeside BBQ were over 85 Oasis campers and counselors, the Oasis and YMCA Board of Directors, and Carl Pfeifer’s family, who ensure Carl’s legacy lives on through these children.
Oasis, A Haven for Women and Children in Paterson, NJ, was founded in 1997 to provide meal services to poor women and children. Today, they offer programs to provide basic needs, social services, adult education and youth development. Oasis’s youth development program, named Carl’s Kids Summer Camp in honor of Carl Pfeifer, serves 170 children aged 6-12 each summer. Oasis youth programs focus on teaching respect, teamwork and tolerance for all people, as well as promoting healthy and productive lifelong habits. These programs support working families by ensuring children have a safe haven to go to outside of school, keeping them off the tough streets of Paterson so they can continue to learn and grow.
Oasis campers spend three days per week at the Wyckoff Y, where essential water safety and swim lessons are provided for this under-served population. Some of these children had never even seen a lake until they came to the Y! Upon seeing Spring Lake, one young camper commented in awe, “This must be what the ocean is like!” Many of these children had also never had swim lessons before, so with the help of Oasis counselors, Y staff and Sharks Swim Team volunteers, these children learn vital swimming skills while building lifelong friendships.
We’re so grateful we are able to host Oasis every year and love seeing the progress they make! Thank you for being a part of our Wyckoff Y family!
For more information about Oasis and how you can help, visit: http://oasisnj.org/
By: Tracy L. Nieradka