300 campers repair homes on east side
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BUFFALO, N.Y. — It's not your average summer camp and Laura Remillard and her fellow campers aren't celebrating the Fourth of July in an average fashion.
"You get a small group together and you help fix, weatherize homes or homes that need touching up," Remillard said.
More than 300 campers from across the country are spending the week painting and repairing dozens of homes on Buffalo's east side, a collaboration between Resurrection Lutheran Church in Buffalo and Group Cares of Colorado.
Campers, whose ages range from 14 to 22, train for various jobs and actually pay to work in the community.
Site coach Tom Wrenbeck said no special qualifications are necessary.
"There's no special qualifications, just have an open mind, a love of Jesus to come and do good things for other people," he said.
This marks the first year at camp for Remillard and many of her fellow campers.
According to Wrenbeck however, they're not missing out on the full camp experience. All 326 of them are still spending their evenings in sleeping bags – just not outdoors.
"We're staying at Bennett High School here in Buffalo, staying in classrooms and also using the cafeteria and shower facilities," Wrenbeck explained.
The group did take a break for the Fourth of July, with trips planned to see Niagara Falls and local beaches.
Campers are expected to have 48 homes repaired by the end of the week.