I am a professional and have been involved in the non-profit world for several years. I am currently the Chair of InsideOUT Writers and I sit on the Board of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition. The Harold Robinson Foundation is by far the most extraordinary organization I have ever witnessed or been a part of. They change peoples lives. Lots of people. They have an incredible impact on their target population, inner city elementary and middle schoolers, their teachers and families. One of the unique qualities is that many of the counselors, mostly in their early 20s, are from these same communities and have faced and overcome hardship. Many were formerly incarcerated, giving them a unique perspective. This is an opportunity for these counselors, those providing the primary services, to “give back”, as well as an opportunity to work, be of service and feel empowered by their contribution. The owners, operators, board and community support for this camp is out of this world. Every time there is rewarding, impactful, enriching and fulfilling. The programming is thoughtful, provocative and balances fun with thinking, feeling, team-building and inspiration. The facility is a gorgeous nature refuge. Fresh air, mountains, greenery and seclusion. HRF commits to the same schools, having them back to camp every year, sometimes multiple times per year, follows the kids back to their communities, building a meaningful and lasting connection, with continuity. I am yet to meet someone who does not LOVE HRF and the operators, Jeff, Joyce and David. They have built a new model and should win humanitarian awards. HRF is smart and all heart and builds real community in Los Angeles. HRF is a big warm hug to the world.
My name is Priscilla Currie and I am the Principal of 92nd Street Elementary School. My school has had the privilege of attending Camp Ubuntu for the past three years. We are so grateful to the Harold Robinson Foundation for selecting and funding this adventure for our school. Camp Ubuntu has been an amazing experience for my students, staff, parents and family. The atmosphere is great, but what really make this trip an unforgettable experience is the people.
This camp helped to encourage and motivate the entire 92nd Street School Community. With the support of the staff our students, staff and parents were able to overcome many obstacles, and they took this same determination back to the school. There were a lot of team building activities that also flowed over to the school. Relationships were developed and parents became more involved and felt more connected to the school. Students were not only excited, but are more determined to overcome obstacle they face. Students have shared that they can hear Camp Mom pushing them to excellence. The nurturing, skills and guidance will help ensure that our students experience life long success.
In addition parents have the opportunity to attend a six week Parent Seminar, also funded by the Harold Robinson Foundation. Parents are learning to take care of themselves, so that can take care of their families. Parents are taught skills to help them develop better relationships with their children and spouse. Lives are changing as a result of these workshops, including mine. These are the types of workshops that help to bridge and change communities.
To the Harold Robinson Foundation and Camp Ubuntu we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the experience, love and adventure. Words along cannot express the gratitude we feel. Again THANK YOU!!!!!!!!
The Harold Robinson foundation is at the cutting edge of culture change within our Los Angeles education system and communities being disproportionally effected by poverty, academic failures and incarceration. HRF founders and staff put their heart and soul into delivering transformational experiences for children who are lost, forgotten, traumatized and who often don’t have caring and consistent adults in their life for guidance. The founders, staff and counselors at Camp Ubuntu are that rock. There is absolutely no one in Los Angeles county that provides this service to our children. One is mistaken if they see Camp Ubhntu simply as a summer camp – what really results from Camp Ubuntu is community renewal. Generations of negative outcomes are being replaced by elementary, middle and high school graduations. Children now have positive outlets to develop their passions and enjoy successes. The Harold Robinson Foundation is on the front lines of revolutionary change – in our schools, our communities and our juvenile justice system.
Attending Camp Canyon Creek, has been the most valuable experience my inner city students have participated in. The love, caring, and nurturing brought out the best in these wonderful children. Many of our kids come from very disadvantaged families and would never have a chance to experience anything like this.
From the moment they arrive and are greeted with warm caring people, to the last minute when we drive away, the staff is there cheering the students on. The students learn so much about fishing, sports, teamwork, helpings others, hiking, dancing, rope climbing, surviving in the wild, arts and crafts, cooking, swimming, animals, and how to treat others. All this is done with the idea of “I can, because we can.” Everyone is there to help each other. This wonderful positive attitude transfers over to their everyday life. Right now, I am teaching another grade but when the camp “family” sees me, they are so much happier and nicer.
Parents, who attend, are shown ways to encourage their students in a very positive manner. How we relate to each other affects our self-esteem. At school, I see changes in how parents and students interact with each other after they come back from camp. The world is a better place.
When I bring my class up to read with 5th grade reading buddies, the camp students are so kind, patient, thoughtful with their younger peers. It has been said that it takes a whole village to raise a child. Well, Canyon Creek has been that village for Raymond Avenue Students. I truly thank you.
I have attended “Camp Ubuntu” with our students for 3 years and each time is more phenomenal than the last. You can tell from the time of arrival through the time of departure, that Jeff Robinson and his entire staff are totally committed to making a difference in the lives of our children, parents and community.
The activities the students and parents participate in are truly life-changing opportunities that have had a positive impact on our students and families. Students have learned what is really means to work and support each other as a team and our parents have learned valuable strategies to help support their child/children at home.
Camp Ubuntu has given our students and parents a chance to participate in something that otherwise would not have been possible and for that we are truly grateful. Our students can now see opportunities beyond their own community and because of that, their lives are enriched forever. Many thanks go out again to the Harold Robinson Foundation for giving ALL of us the opportunity to participate in such a phenomenal, uplifting experience.
I work as the case manager at a nonprofit organization that provides creative writing classes to the kids incarcerated in the Los Angeles County juvenile halls and also provides reentry services and support to former students once they are released from custody. I had the privilege of meeting David Moss and Jeff and Joyce Robinson 3 years ago at a fundraising event and was immediately blown away by their work at The Harold Robinson and Camp Ubuntu. Given the nature of my work with currently and formerly incarcerated young people, I have always felt there needed to be more focus on intervention and prevention programs for at-risk youth. When I learned of the mission at The Harold Robinson Foundation, I knew immediately that this was an organization that fully understands the importance of reaching out to young people before they make horrible decisions that could detrimentally affect their futures.
The Harold Robinson Foundation provides a unique opportunity for under-privileged young people in impoverished communities to experience life in camp, something they’d likely not be able to enjoy otherwise. The kids initially enter the camp setting uncertain of what to expect and many have an aura of not wanting to be there since it is an unfamiliar environment for them. However, after 3 day retreats filled with team building exercises and bonding with their peers in various engaging activities that are completely foreign to them, each and every one of the kids leaves with a new sense of respect and appreciation for one another, and memories they hold onto once they return home. I know this because I’ve volunteered as a camp counselor at Camp Ubuntu and have witnessed the magic of the transformations these kids undergo during their stay at camp. As a grown man, I’ve always left camp with tears of joy after watching so many kids that have either suffered or have been exposed to neglect or some type of abuse surge with excitement and optimism after working closely with one another and the camp staff. If it’s always like that for me, imagine what it must be like for the kids The Harold Robinson Foundation and Camp Ubuntu serves! As much as I would like to try, there are no words adequate enough for me to fully articulate the wonders that take place at Camp Ubuntu other than it’s extraordinary and life-changing.
For anyone that is reading this, please do whatever you can to help support The Harold Robinson Foundation and Camp Ubuntu whether it’s with donations or with volunteering your time. Since our kids are the future, please do your part to help provide as many kids as possible with memorable and joyful childhood experiences that will also instill discipline and responsibility in them to carry into their adolescence and adulthood. Please consider contributing to The Harold Robinson Foundation.
I am a member of the watts community and recent candidate for the California State Assembly. I met HRF,for the first time, almost 3 years ago. During a moment I personally needed inspiration I was invited to the camp where 92nd Street Elementary, from Watts, was visting. I remember feeling loved from the moment I stepped inside the camp, but more importantly HRF was providing kids from my community an experience of their lives. Children were laughing until they burst into tears and held each other with extreme compassion. I remember thinking that that moment was remarkable and how well behaved the kids were.
I was later invited back to learn more about the programs offered by HRF. I stayed an entire weekend this time. I learned that many of the children coming to camp started the weekend off reluctant to get involved and often times untrusting. The well behaved children I mentioned before, i quickly learned didn’t start off that way. It was HRF’s energetic and caring staff that made it possible for children to be children.
My greatest experience is when I partnered with HRF to host a weekend that was intended to unite all off Watts. This would include law enforcement, students, parents, clergy, activist and the camp. Children laughed and shared stories of hope and relief. Parents became friends with each other and Law enforcement. HRF had created magic. HRF wasn’t just a camp in that moment, it represented restoration, family, and future. ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CD51ZwI5Yg0)
Lastly, HRF has demanded that everyone around them step up and do their part to change humanity. I can’t wait until this model is shared nationally. For now I am happy that a community with so much need has a great ally. Watts thanks you HRF. The greatest organization fighting daily, in the community and at camp, to change children lives.
The Harold Robinson Foundation has changed the lives of hundreds of boys and girls in South Central Los Angeles. As a teacher in this area, I was not sure what to think four years ago when we were told we were going camping for 3 days and 2 nights at a place called Canyon Creek Sports Complex. A lot of organizations make big promises but often do not follow through. But the Harold Robinson Foundation was as good as their word and better! My students and I spent three days team building, learning leadership skills and finding the importance of compassion and unity. Our second year was even better, as was our third. We have just returned from our forth year at what is now called Camp Ubuntu. This experience could not have a better name. Ubuntu means “I am because we are” and that is what is taught and practiced. Aside from the amazing activities, including football, basketball, tennis, hiking, the ropes course, archery, fishing, night hikes with astronomy classes and the traditional campfire, the food was beyond excellent and the cabins were four star quality. All of this is provided free of charge to 100 forth and fifth grade students along with faculty and parents, each and every year. As a teacher, I then take this powerful experience and replicate it in the classroom all year long to encourage students to be free thinkers, to learn to make good choices, to do the right thing and to be a team, both in and out of the classroom. We are so blessed that the Harold Robinson Foundation has chosen Watts to be the focus of their philanthropy. What an amazing change they have brought about, not only in the lives of students and their parents, but to the faculty members that have been fortunate enough to be along for the ride. Anyone supporting this organization can be assured that their contributions are truly impacting the lives of others directly.
I have been working in youth development for over 5 years. I’ve worked with at-risk youth and adults in Central Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Baltimore MD, and Watts. Since 2011, I’ve been heavily involved in the growth and development of my own nonprofit organization called Blessed&Appreciative. I can honestly say that the day I was welcomed into the Harold Robinson Foundation family was a day that altered the course of my life forever.
The Harold Robinson Foundation is the real deal. They don’t just “talk the talk”, they get down and work hard, extremely hard. They are leading a revolution of young community leaders who are “walking the walk” and leading by example. Their holistic approach to spreading UBUNTU and building community is done so in a way where everyone feels important and like they are a part of the family…from the students they work with to the counselors who work with the students, everyone is important and everyone is valued. As a member of the HRF team, I can say that Jeff and Joyce really care about you as a person. They care about the things that matter, like what you have inside of your heart, over the mistakes you may have made in your past. The empathy and compassion they have inside their hearts is simply inspiring…I hope to one day have a family like the Robinson family.