Hello. This summer I received a CSGC grant to teach programming fundamentals to Southampton Fresh Air Home (SFAH) campers. SFAH is a not-for-profit co-ed, sleep-away summer camp (that also provides year-round activities) for youth with physical disabilities, located in Southampton, New York. Every summer for the past 120 years, some 150 campers, ages eight through eighteen, have the time of their lives at a camp where they make new friends and develop necessary life skills in an environment tailored to support and accommodate their physical disabilities and individual needs. At SFAH, campers play a wide variety of sports, go on excursions in the local area, make many different arts and crafts projects, partake in numerous performances from stand-up comedy to karaoke, and learn in SFAH’s life skills workshop.
My goal is to provide SFAH campers who are interested in computer science and programming with the information and structure that they need to enter the often seemingly complicated and overwhelming world of computer science. As our world becomes more tech-based, knowing and building off of the fundamentals of computer science and programming is a great skill to have, and one that can open doors to many different career paths. I plan to teach the campers twice a week throughout SFAH’s entire summer program, which just started this past Monday – first lesson will be Wednesday! For the younger and/or inexperienced campers, an application such as Swift Playgrounds (designed by Apple) will provide a fun and simple introduction to computer science concepts and practice. For older and/or more experienced campers, I will show them Java and guide them through some of the fun projects I have completed here at Deerfield (from both the intro and AP level CS courses).
I hope that my work at the camp will inspire the campers to pursue computer science and will open previously closed career paths for them.
-Ford Holmen ’22