Joseph Pfeifer Kiwanis Camp
Pfeifer Camp provides a free residential summer camp program for Central Arkansas youth ages 9-14. The program is primarily for youth who cannot afford a summer camp experience and for ACE graduates. Youth choose one week to attend out of the five regular weeks of camp.
Summer Camp applications are mailed out in April to former campers and to anyone who requests an application. Applications are processed on a first come, first serve with respect to age and gender. Confirmation letters are mailed to parents in May. All campers must have a physical signed by a doctor or nurse practitioner within the last year.
Campers arrive on Monday morning between 9 a.m.-11 a.m. and are registered by their parents. Camp ends on Friday with campers being picked up between 10 a.m.-11 a.m.
Campers are assigned to cabin groups with a group of peers, an AmeriCorps counselor and a Counselor-In-Training (CIT). In addition to meeting new people and making new friends, there is swimming every day, canoeing on the Little Maumelle River, and overnight campouts. Campers also participate in arts and crafts, team-building, hiking, stargazing, sports and games, and instructional swimming.
On Thursday mornings, members of the Downtown Kiwanis Club of Little Rock and their guests attend Kiwanis Breakfast at the camp. Kiwanians are responsible for raising approximately $100,000 to provide "camperships" that allow campers to attend for free. At the end of the breakfast, the Kiwanians and guests offer words of wisdom to the campers. Later that day campers select a donor to thank for the free experience and are responsible for writing a letters to those donors, explaining what camp means to them.
On Friday morning, the campers who were respectful, honest, and active participants are nominated for "Honor Camp" which is a special week of camp that is coveted by all campers. Some years honor campers make an out-of-state trip, some years they visit special places in Arkansas, and some years they do a combination of these. They may visit a museum, city hall, Six Flags, Magic Springs or any one of a number of other sites. The last morning parents are invited, along with Kiwanis members, to have breakfast together. New CITs are announced during the Honor Camp Breakfast.