Project CoffeeHouse: The mother ship of Project Nature C.A.M.P.

Since its inception twenty-two years ago, Project CoffeeHouse has had a single mission, variously expressed: to maximize the chances that young people may develop lives of joy and purpose.

Lu Ann Potter founded Project CoffeeHouse in 2000 as a place where marginalized teens could go after school to enjoy music and poetry, good food and conversation with caring adults and a growing cadre of their peers in whose company they experienced, many for the first time, the sense of felt community.

After the PCH storefront was closed in 2006, the work continued ad hoc, addressing the focused needs of individual young people as they continued their journey to adulthood.

In 2016, Project CoffeeHouse adopted a program begun by St John Lutheran church on Rt 405. Sumer Alive, a day camp in the Montgomery Park, was initiated and became the highlight of summer vacation for many children in the Borough area.

Covid brought Summer Alive to a disappointing halt. Now, in 2022, the third iteration is born of the organization whose commitment to the youngest generation has remained steadfast for over 20 years.

Introducing Project Nature C.A.M.P., an outdoor summer program of Creative Activities and Magical Play for children age 5 – 10. With greater focus on the unique needs and abilities of children in smaller, more specific age groups, Project Nature CAMP will welcome two different groups of 25 Acorns (kids age 5, 6, and 7) and two different groups of 25 Oaks (kids age 8, 9, and 10) over a 4-week period in June and July of 2022.

The acronym C.A.M.P., Creative Activities and Magical Play, offers the best summary of the open space, child-directed program that will be provided to campers in a supportive, caring, and affirming community where cooperation and kindness is exemplified and the well-being of every child fostered. It is our hope that providing these outdoor experiences to children will spark their sense of awe and wonder in the natural world, enhancing the possibility that they will grow to be engaged, committed citizens who accept their responsibility to protect the planet that sustains them.