Detroit summer camp vandalized

- Children, parents and volunteers are feeling upset after a Detroit summer vamp was vandalized on Saturday.

Leaders of the Avengers Youth Mentoring program woke up Saturday to news that made their stomachs drop.

"The pillars of the tent were kicked in, the ropes were cut, the backs of the chairs were kicked in," said Edward Dean, executive director of Avengers Mentoring.

This recent vandalism follows more vandalism that took place last week, when sports equipment was stolen and a cooler was set on fire.

"I had a parent text me this morning ... and she said her child was crying saying, 'Mommy, why are they taking and destroying our camp?'" Dean said.

This puts a bump in the road for 300 children ages 6-13, entering into their fifth week of the six week non-profit summer camp, much of it based at the Golightly Education Center where the vandalism happened.

"They can talk about their problems and we can relate to them and talk to them, so that's what it's all about," Dean said.

It's a shock to everyone who has had a hand in building the program. They believe whoever did this is not involved with the camp.

"It's frustrating that they want to tear down what we're trying to build up for the children," said Nia Watson, a board member.

"We're trying to provide programs that help the children and provide something they can do over the summer and keep them out of trouble," said Talibah Dillworth, another board member.

Because of the vandalism, the kids will have to spend the majority of their final weeks inside. The tent provided shade, so the children wouldn't overheat.

"If you're out there and you're doing it, stop, come help, grab a baby, play with them, play basketball, play football with them," Dean said. "Give, don't take. And if you're not happy, just don't do anything. You're not hurting me, you're hurting the babies. That's what I would want them to know."

Camp organizers are hoping somehow this negative will turn into a positive.

They say this is another opportunity for them to spread the word about the help they provide and good work they do.

If you'd like to volunteer or donate, you can do so by visiting avengersteam.org.

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