First-year medical students at the Georgetown University School of Medicine (GUSOM) will host the HOYA Clinic Summer Sports Camp, an annual summer camp for kids living at the Triumph, a temporary housing site in Ward 8 of Washington, D.C., as it returns for its tenth year.
The camp is part of the GUSOM’s HOYA Clinic initiative, a student-run clinic that has been providing free, quality medical care to Triumph residents since 2019. The clinic’s medical services include child and adult sick care, blood pressure and blood sugar checks, wound care, women’s health and medication. The clinic also hosts wellness workshops and health education classes, promoting a holistic view of health.
The HOYA Clinic Summer Sports Camp connects medical students to the local D.C. community and allows them to learn more about the needs of its residents. Approximately 40 volunteers assist children ages five to 14 throughout this summer experience, developing personal relationships while having fun along the way.
“Volunteering with HOYA sports camp this summer really represents giving back to the community in a very meaningful way,” Josh Carreras, a HOYA Clinic community relations coordinator, said in a promotional video earlier this year.
Michael Covell, a HOYA Clinic strategic planning coordinator, volunteered at the summer camp and enjoyed getting to meet residents of the Triumph.
“It was great to strengthen our relationship with residents of the Triumph in a setting outside of a typical clinic night. I am excited to continue growing our partnership with such a wonderful organization and group of people,” Covell wrote to The Hoya.
Covell said the summer sports camp allows kids to thrive in a collaborative environment.
“My favorite part of summer camp was spending time with the kids at the Triumph, who brought contagious enthusiasm and energy to each event,” Covell wrote. “It was a highlight of our community engagement initiatives this year.”
Volunteers engage kids in a variety of activities over a two-day period, exemplifying Georgetown’s core value of service for others. On the first day, volunteers teach campers to swim safely at the Anacostia Park pool and play games like tag, kickball and football, helping campers gain confidence and sportsmanship skills. On the second day, kids participate in an egg drop challenge in conjunction with the D.C. Fire Department, testing their contraptions from the top of the fire truck ladder. The camp culminates with an arts and crafts activity held in a community room.
Mary Tresvalles, a HOYA Clinic development coordinator, said the camp is a way for kids to demonstrate their creative skills.
“My favorite part of camp is always seeing how creative the kids can be with making their Egg Drop challenge contraptions and coming up with activities and challenges during the pool day,” Tresvalles wrote to The Hoya. “Of course, we come to the Triumph with our own agenda for activities but it’s always such a good time when the kids take things in their own direction based on what they are interested in.”
The next iteration of the HOYA Clinic Summer Sports Camp is expected to take place in late July or early August 2024, before the start of orientation week for first-year medical students. GUSOM students interested in working with kids and serving the community through medicine are encouraged to get involved in coordinating and volunteering at the camp.
Tresvalles said she hopes that the HOYA Clinic Summer Sports Camp can gradually expand to support more kids.
“For next year’s camp, I’d love to see us open up the event to other kids in the neighborhood rather than just the ones living at the Triumph,” Tresvalles said.” I think that, with enough coordination with the local community and enthusiasm from our volunteers, we could make the HOYA Summer Sports Camp a bigger and better event.”