Camp Safe Haven Martha's Vineyard
As many of you know, the Martha's Vineyard Patch Whiz Kid column usually highlights an Island kid or group of kids who have done something pretty spectacular. We highlight their accomplishments, recognize their awesomeness and revel in their being one of our own.
This week, however, we are straying off that path to celebrate an incredible group of kids from off-Island—the kids from Camp Safe Haven Martha's Vineyard. This fantastic group of accomplished and awesome kids ranges from age 9 to 18, and comes from all over the country and the UK. All of the kids are HIV+.
According to its mission statement, Safe Haven is dedicated to empowering and affirming HIV+ youth and creating service opportunities for emerging young leaders. Groups of Save Haven kids have been coming to the Island since 1994, when the Island's own Tony Lombardi and CEO David Butler c0-founded the program.
The campers bunk in the West Tisbury youth hostel and then set off on an itinerary packed solid with all that the Vineyard has to offer. Some of the plans for this week include a bus tour, a ride on the Flying Horses, walks on the African-American Island trails, a climb to the top of the Gay Head lighthouse and a moment of silence on the beach to remember fellow campers who passed away.
A noteworthy group of volunteers helps to make the kids visit to the Island a yearly success. Overseen by the Harley Riders, the Vineyard community sends forth its love in the form of meals, treats, transportation and time.
We hope the kids enjoy being here as much as we enjoy their coming, and that as many Islanders as possible get to cross paths with this amazing group of Whiz Kids.