Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center

Community Event – June 2021

August Newsletter

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to lurk in the background at the Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center, we are slowly but surely moving past it.  

Case in point, we began the summer on June 30th with another Family and Community Day aptly called, “Overcomers Extravaganza!” Center Deputy Director, Brandon Furrowh explains the title.  “It marked the one-year anniversary of the employee and participant return to Hilltop’s building, after enduring a (3 month) shut-down as a result of the pandemic. The event included a DJ, a photo booth, funnel cake, free books, outdoor carnival, and arcade games, and much more.” See the attached pictures.
Two weeks earlier, summer camp began on schedule and will continue through August. While we remain at roughly 50 percent capacity due to COVID regulations, the fun and learning is at 100 percent! Center Youth Services Director, Teresa Allen tells us that the first week of camp oriented the students toward how camp would proceed this year. “(We began by) establishing overall summer camp/ group culture. As a team we have been integrating our new ‘4 to score’ climate and culture plan.   Each group had opportunities to create their own group name, poster, and norms through various team building games and exercises.” Teresa says, “the educational components of summer seem to be going well. Both the campers and staff appear to be fully engaged in academic activities.” Meanwhile, “campers attended field trips to Bowlerama, Legoland, and Basketball camp at the Field House.”
Deputy Director Furrowh says that 20 students attended the basketball camp thanks to a grant from the Criminal Justice Council.  “This camp included very experienced trainers who are connected to a plethora of other basketball opportunities. Two of our talented students were recruited to train with the next level up from their current age group. This was a great honor bestowed upon these students, as well as an opportunity for more intensive training.”

Finally, while it seems that all wellness programs these days revolve around COVID, not all of them at the Hilltop Center do.  Center Executive Director, Michelle Williams, tells us that the “Jewish Family Services (JFS)…conduct(ed) a series of interactive and engaging wellness workshops for administrative and direct care staff. The hour-long sessions (took) place on Friday’s beginning on June 4th at 10am. The series… (ran) for 6 weeks. The workshops (were) geared towards frontline workers, parents, educators, and helpers of all kinds. The topics… include(d): Getting out of Burnout, Compassion Fatigue, Mindfulness, Prioritizing Wellness, and Meeting Your Basic Needs.” 

Have a good, safe summer!
Eric F. Mease
Member, Board of Directors, Hilltop Lutheran Neighborhood Center