Camper Highlight: Small Donation, Big Magic

For the Stomping Ground Blog this week, I am happy to highlight a camper story that shows true dedication! Aidan is a nine-year-old camper who has been coming to Stomping Ground for multiple summers. If he puts his mind to it, he could grow up to be a professional slip-and-slider. He also loves playing with swords, eating cream cheese bagels, and pushing imagination far beyond its limits.    


After seeing our donor video, Aidan was inspired to help us succeed in making a new home for Stomping Ground. He wanted to pledge some of his savings as a donation to fund the renovation and construction of our new Stomping Ground. Aidan could manage to give $50 and told his father about his intention. I feel like when I was nine years old, all I wanted to do was use any money I had to buy candy and baseball cards, and here Aidan is, looking to support his summer camp! Hearing this news from his son, Aidan’s Dad pledged to match the contribution.

This $100 doesn’t renovate any buildings or buy us a new property, but it is a step. A step towards making our new site a reality. It is these little moments of inspiration, sharing, and action that will add up to make a large, lasting impact. I am inspired to find new ways to share the Stomping Ground story after hearing about the giving nature of one of our own campers. If the sprawling possibility of a new home for camp is exciting for our campers, I can’t wait to help make those possibilities come true in summers to come. 


Aidan has a competitive spirit in our big night games, and also has a way of making the first-time campers in his cabin feel at home while at camp. He and campers like him will be the true beneficiaries of a new site, growing up as campers and hopefully staff in summers to come. Successful future summers begin by planning now, and having the support and buy-in from Aidan and campers like him will help us find the right path for Stomping Ground to take.


Fundraising this much money in an organization is typically reserved for adults, and while adults at Stomping Ground do take on much of the responsibility, I am glad that we include and celebrate youth participation in our efforts to grow. Our organization is for the kids we serve, and the more we can share the responsibility for what Stomping Ground looks like, the better off we will be. Aidan’s contribution is a step towards sharing that responsibility and believing young people in a situation where most adults would cast them aside. It is an honor and privilege to be a part of an organization that believes in their young people the way we do here at Stomping Ground.


Nigel Sullivan

Community Engagement Coordinator

Sponsored by the Great State of Ohio

Nigel Sullivan