GARY | A group of children scoured Miller Beach Monday, enthusiastically cleaning up the shore, one piece of trash at a time.
The children were part of Miller Beach Day Camp, a camp for children ages 5-10 started by friends Maggie Mooers and Alison Reba.
The camp, which meets three times a week, began June 10 and ends Friday.
This was the first service project the children have done, and Reba hopes to do more in the future.
"I'm really surprised how well they did and how much they go into it," Reba said. "It's important when you're young to learn all the different things you can do to help the neighborhood, the city.
"It can be picking up trash at the beach for 45 minutes. It's as simple as that."
Mooers said the camp has grown significantly since she began it while she was in high school.
"I started it for kids in the area. There are a ton of really great kids, but not a ton of programs," Mooers said.
In Miller Beach Day Camp, the children have scavenger hunts, pool parties, arts and crafts, sports, music days, cooking activities and more.
Mooers and Reba met while participating in Miller community activities like soccer as well as the youth group at Marquette Park United Methodist Church.
"Alison and I became friends through the Miller community, and there were a lot of good friendships that came through that," Mooers said.
"We wanted the same thing for the kids. I think some of the kids wouldn't have become friends without the day camp."
Mooers and Reba, who both graduated high school in May, are going to be going to college, and are unsure but hopeful about the camp continuing next year.
To learn more about the day camp, contact email@example.com.