Archive for the ‘Teens’ Category

Eight years ago I posted an article on this blog, To Russia with love, about that year’s fundraising efforts by Camp Siberia. Now known as Bainbridge Island/Kitezh, the organization is one of the island’s oldest cultural exchange and service organizations for teens. For over 15 years, it has been bringing Bainbridge Island teenagers to Russia to provide friendship and support to children who had been momhugorphaned and/or displaced as a result of social and economic upheaval following the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

Each year from in 1999 through 2011, Bainbridge high school students traveled to Russia to put on an American-style summer camp experience for orphans. In addition, Camp Siberia helped many of these orphans gain vocational and academic opportunities through a scholarship program. (Since 2011, Bainbridge Island/Kitezh has continued to provide cross-cultural friendships and exchanges with Russian orphans through an ongoing, local program in Kitezh).

This summer, Hannah Crichton and Kyle Scoble, two former Bainbridge High School students who participated in the Camp Siberia program in 2007, will return to Russia to find campers from their summer with Camp Siberia, and capture on film a window on their current lives.

As Hannah explains, “They are now all young adults, living in the real world, without financial support or education. Our short documentary will explore the paths these former campers have taken and update us on the day-to-day lives they currently live. Statistics are not in these kids’ favors – most Russian children who leave the orphanage system around age 16 end up on the streets, becoming involved in crime, committing suicide, or unemployed. The campers we are profiling are all making their own paths, and we can’t wait to see them again!”

Hannah and Kyle are raising money for the costs of this project through Indigogo. You can learn more about their project, budget and their qualifications at this link: Tiny.cc/russiansummer

Hannah says they’ve raised about $8000 toward their goal of $17,700, and they are grateful for all donations, large or small.

Send some love to this worthwhile project by donating! Posting the link to their Indigogo page on Facebook or Twitter would be really helpful too.  Tiny.cc/russiansummer





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Update: A BHS senior was arrested this morning on felony malicious mischief charges in connection with the vandalism of several Bainbridge Island police cars early Wednesday morning. “Other arrests are expected,” according to the Kitsap Sun. Click here for the Sun’s report.

This week’s vandalism of several Bainbridge police cars, including one parked outside the residence of Police Chief Matt Haney, was angry, aggressive and personal. It was directed at the most visible symbol of authority and order in our community, and an obscene gesture to the whole island. Everyone–especially other high school students–hopes the perpetrators are quickly caught and prosecuted.

Wednesday night, a visibly shaken Chief Haney recounted some of the details of the crime to the City Council. He said that between 2 and 3 a.m. that morning, tires on 8 police vehicles were flattened, including all four on his own, which was parked at his Bainbridge home. Several colors of paint were splashed over the vehicles, and Haney estimated the damage at about $15,000.  


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 momhug.gifIn the dining room of Wing Point Country Club, decorated with vases of spring tulips, glittering lights, and auction tables lined with Russian art, baskets of wine, sports tickets, vacation packages and more, it would have been easy to forget the children at the center of this outpouring of labor and generosity at the Camp Siberia auction last Saturday night.

Except that camp founder Janie Ekberg never lets anyone forget the Russian orphans who, for a few magical days every summer, leave their poverty and loneliness behind to attend a camp staffed with Bainbridge Island teenagers whose only goal is to shower them with love and undivided attention. Slides on a large screen near the Wing Point fireplace displayed pictures of past trips to Camp Siberia, where Janie and others have taken island high school students every summer since 2001.   (more…)

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