By Stephanie Skordas, Director of Communications
“Campers have s’more fun,” they say, and a group of Guilford Parent Leader Network (GPLN) families spent a night under the stars at Oak Hollow Park Campground in High Point, N.C. on June 24, 2023. It was the first Fathers Ready to Grow campout.
Fathers Ready to Grow is led by GPLN members Harrison Spencer and Eugene Penn. It is a group for fathers of children ages 0-8, who meet monthly to network and support each other. “We looked forward to the in-person contact as opposed to the virtual. The fathers in the group expressed their interest, plus being outdoors in nature is a love of mine,” Spencer said.
The group of about two dozen pitched their tents and set up camp with a scenic view of Oak Hollow Lake. Children and parents explored the lakeside and played games. After a week of rain, the weather held for the campers.
“This was the best trip ever! I enjoyed being able to go camping for the first time alongside other parents in the community. The fellowship, teamwork, food, and memories created will last a lifetime,” said Airreia Pierce, a GPLN Steering Committee member. “My husband was able to participate and connect with other fathers. [It was a] beautiful event that should continue to grow in the future with more families.”
Another highlight of the night was a movie under the stars. One of the campers brought an inflatable screen and projector so the families could settle in before bedtime.
“I really enjoyed Father’s Ready to Grow first camping trip,” said Melissa Little, a GPLN member. “The location was perfect. The fathers, Mr. Geno and Mr. Jamaal, handled everything. I didn’t have to lift a finger except to eat. I’m anticipating next year.”
Little says the fathers who arranged the camping trip ensured families were comfortable, their tents were properly set up and handled the other arrangements for a wonderful time together.
“This speaks volumes to others around who were watching, which shows that there is truly strength in numbers and that fathers are still involved with their families,” Pierce said. “It was powerful that we were able to come together and join in on something positive for our families.”
“We talked, laughed, and engaged that night together,” Spencer said. “It was a great event, and we hope to do it again soon.”
If you’d like more information about Fathers Ready to Grow or the Guilford Parent Leader Network, please contact Family Engagement Manager Yuri Alston.