Light of the City

Youth Services at VOA Southeast

In the heart of Bay Minette, Light of the City stands as a cherished sanctuary and a second family for both young individuals and parents. Every summer, an abandoned school building in Bay Minette transforms into a hub of camaraderie, recreation, and education, all offered without cost. The Light of the City summer camp, spanning six weeks with activities held four days a week, serves as a beacon of opportunity.

At the outset of the season, children are grouped according to their age and gender, ensuring a cohesive experience. Within each group, a college intern leads the way, supported by a team of adolescent leaders. The day unfolds with a communal lunch, fostering connections and shared moments among newfound friends. Subsequent hours follow a rotating schedule, encompassing activities such as Bible studies, music, games, and outdoor recreation. Even as the program’s primary duration is six weeks, Light of the City doubles as an after-school initiative. This extended engagement allows children to continue their growth journey throughout the entire year, guided by retired educators and dedicated volunteers from the Bay Minette community.

The immeasurable value of a program like Light of the City, which provides unwavering care and personalized attention to children at no cost, resonates deeply with both parents and their young ones. An overwhelming majority—approximately 95%—of program participants hail from low-income backgrounds and are part of the “reduced lunch” program. Representing a diverse community, these camps serve as a haven for these children, fostering growth and learning within a secure and nurturing milieu. Importantly, age is no barrier to participation; upon reaching 15 years of age, children can transition into teen leadership roles, overseeing the camps while also earning a modest income.

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