ALEXANDRIA, La. (WNTZ) – If you’re looking for a space where your kids can safely learn and build community, Camp P.O.W.E.R. spearheaded by Bernard Winn is Passing Out Wisdom Education and Recreation from 2pm to 5pm Monday through Thursday this month.
Camp P.O.W.E.R. is located in the Sonia Quarters on 2403 Harris St. and was developed by Bernard and Robert. “We met at a community gathering on police brutality [in Black communities,]” recalled Robert, the camp facilitator. Robert Williams opened No Limit 4 Recovery Clubhouse to Bernard and his wife, Petra as a homebase for community activity. “Once we saw the space,” Bernard said, he and Petra knew exactly what to do; pass out wisdom and education. The counselors noted many parents in our city find difficulty in affording traditional summer camp or daycare. Camp P.O.W.E.R., an acronym for Passing Out Wisdom, Education, and Recreation offers an experience for an optional charge of $10.
“My favorite lesson was on bullying, and mental health because I could see it connect with a lot of the younger kids who were bullied [or were] bullies,” the 16 year old, campgoer, Kiara thoughtfully recounted. Winn and his team utilize volunteering professionals as far as Southern University to help provide learning experiences and access to life perspectives for Black youths of Alexandria. “Usually,” said Bernard and others, “We have between 20 and 40 kids… Yesterday we went to the AMOA, and we go fishing tomorrow.”
As camp comes to a close, Bernard Winn wades through a sea of kids chanting their camp theme song, “So Strong” by Labi Siffre. The Camp counselors lead with sign language that bolster spirits. “I can’t get my kids to stop singing even when they are at home,” noted one parent of two. A camp song is the final act of community Bernard and his team help the youth build. Many attending kids are from The Sonia Quarters and Acadian Village. “It’s a way to get them off the streets and give them perspective,” says Winn. This echoes as the clubhouse overflows with joyful voices singing in unison, “Something inside so strong.”
If you would like to make a donation, or partner with Camp P.O.W.E.R., here’s how you can reach them:
Robert Williams – (318)-277-0203
Bernard Winn – (318)-787-3806