No Off Season for SoulGrow

A brightly painted bus transports Camp SoulGrow kids all over the East End for free activities connecting campers with businesses and community groups. London Rosiere

As most children’s camps are getting ready to pack up for the year, Camp SoulGrow in Montauk is busy preparing its fall and winter schedule.

“We go all year round,” said London Rosiere, the camp’s indefatigable founder, “running free workshops after school and on weekends so that children continue having these wonderful events and opportunities to connect with each other and the community in a pressure-free, open-arms way.”

This summer, Camp SoulGrow saw 214 kids participate in 92 hour-and-a-half-long, free workshops that Ms. Rosiere considers platforms for people in the community to offer children hands-on experiences, and for kids to broaden their horizons. She engages high schoolers to help at the camp, for which they receive community service hours. On Tuesday, the campers traveled to Block Island, where they visited a petting zoo, had lunch, and explored the island.

Ms. Rosiere’s nonprofit is now in its fourth year and is open to children ages 7 and up. Money left to Ms. Rosiere (pronounced Roszhay) by her late mother and the generosity of East End businesses and residents have helped her operate workshops on a donation-only basis. However, additional fund-raising is also required, Ms. Rosiere said. “But I’m a one-woman operation, working with kids, being the janitor, the P.R. person, and everything else.” 

She is also a seasoned marathoner and will run in her 17th marathon on Nov. 19 in Philadelphia, through which she hopes to raise $3,000 for the camp. But to ensure that its programs continue to be sustained in the future, more significant fund-raising will be necessary.

Beginning on Sept. 15, camp will be offered every Friday evening from 6 to 8 in Montauk, with workshops in yoga, karate, painting, volunteering, visiting local businesses, as well as one workshop devoted to table etiquette during a dinner at Muse Restaurant in Montauk. Each workshop is limited to 15 kids, offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Many beloved annual events await campers this fall and winter, such as transforming the Montauk Lighthouse into a haunted house for Halloween, a turkey drive over Thanksgiving with 108 turkeys donated to the needy, and a holiday-season break camp at Gurney’s Resort in Montauk. 

Last year Camp SoulGrow had a windfall thanks to the Atlantic Golf Club in Bridgehampton, which donated $25,000 to the nonprofit, giving Ms. Rosiere the breathing room to focus more on programming, but fund-raising remains a constant if she is to continue the organization’s mission, and so too are volunteers.

High schoolers looking to earn community service credits working with Camp SoulGrow can contact Ms. Rosiere at headkid@campsoulgrow.org. Others who want to support the camp and its free programming can make tax-deductible donations online at campsoulgrow.org or by mail to Camp SoulGrow, P.O. Box 1016, Montauk 11954.