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Take a LEAP: Consider training about access to camps

Model U.N. students with U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III in June 2018.Model U.N. students with U.S. Rep. Joseph Kennedy III in 2018. Kim Kay Holt started the group. LEAP Arlington is starting a program to improve access to camps -- an effort designed to fulfill several issues in town.

Called ACASC, the Arlington Camp Access Service Corps offers weeklong training for 18 to 20 rising sophomores and juniors about how to aid caregivers in finding and applying to summer camps for their children, including getting financial assistance. The students, under supervision, will assist parents of camp-age children in selecting camps.

LEAP stands for the Leadership Enrichment Adventure Project and is the Arlington consulting and community-organizing group run for years by resident Kim Kay Holt. The group launched an after-school program at Ottoson and the Arlington Regional Model U.N. Clubs.

Training this summer

Training will run during the weeks of June 7 through 11 through 23 and Aug. 9 through 12, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. In the final session, Friday, Aug 13, students from all three weeks of the training will be invited to come from 8 to 9 p.m. on Zoom.

The training addresses these issues:

  • Volunteer service: Arlington High School students, who are required to commit 40 hours of volunteer service to graduate, also could benefit from training in college and career readiness.
  • Fewer paid jobs, internships: With a decline in available paying jobs as well as paid or unpaid internships for high school students, this project seeks to meet the needs of the parents with children who are of camp age, camp-age children and the high school students.

Trained professionals will educate the students on issues of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), working with individuals who may have a trauma history. Robust training in confidentiality will occur.

DEI training

LEAP has engaged the Arlington Human Rights Commission to help with DEI issues training, has engaged trauma specialist Emily Lapolice, LICSW, who is a faculty member and trainer at the Center for Trauma and Embodiment at JRI. The Arlington parent plans to do a brief training about trauma during the training and is looking into a number of possibilities for the confidentiality part of the training.

Participants will also have the chance to learn more about their own strengths and about team-building, leadership and working with others, and about the actual process of researching camps, getting applications and helping parents properly complete them.

At the end of each training week, the students will be given the chance to commit to a yearlong internship in which they will apply the knowledge they learned by working with parents to research camps and fill out documents and/or by delving into a specific internship with a business and/or organization within town.

Mentors available

Students who make the commitment to continue will be put in small groups with a mentor and will meet regularly in groups and individually with their mentor, the program director and the entire team. All students will have the chance to help decide the direction their intern year takes. This has a great deal of flexibility, and each intern has several decisions they can make about which “track” to take within the career and college-readiness materials.

Students have opportunities for internships for short- and long-term experiences with businesses and organizations in the Arlington community, but LEAP Arlington offers a number of opportunities for short- and longer-term commitments. For example, the Chamber of Commerce and the Housing Corporation of Arlington had opportunities during last December's holidays.

Projects for all ages are offered throughout the year. Consider the group's involvement with numerous nonprofits and community groups and the director’s role as a resource person.

If you are interested in more information and/or in an application to be a corps interns for the 2021-2022 academic year, email leaparlingtonma at or contact Kim Holt at kimkayholt at or Darcy Coleman at darcyecoleman at

If you are interested in partnering with LEAP and ACASC, get in touch.

July 16, 2020: Virtual reunion held: AEC, Model U.N., Roots-Shoots


This news announcement was published Sunday, April 18, 2021.

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