Herb and Gerri Thomas: Why We Give

Read on for an EDMO story of giving followed by the full thanks from one of our Co-Founders!

An EDMO Story: Why We Give

Herb and Gerri ThomasWe sent our son to many highly rated camps over several years, however, Camp EDMO was the one he always wanted to attend each year. Our son has social and communication challenges so finding a camp that would fit his needs wasn’t easy. To start with, EDMO offered him an array of activities that promoted fun, silliness, and exploration, at each level of his maturation. He loved the pie throwing, spirit days, camp songs and structured projects like making robots and video games.

But what made Camp EDMO most valuable for all of us, was their strong commitment to social emotional learning which was integrated throughout every part of the camp. All of the Camp Directors, every Counselor and Instructor embodied and modeled the attitudes and skills needed to teach campers how to better understand and manage their emotions, feel and show empathy for others, and build and maintain positive relationships. Every day there were staff applauding our son’s arrival and welcoming him by name. He loved the prizes for the Camp EDMO challenges that incentivized positive social behaviors. EDMO created an authentic “culture of caring” that allowed him to fit in socially and feel safe.

While our son was fortunate that we could afford to pay for him to attend camp, many children are not. As a fiduciary/trustee for children with special needs, I have sought out resources to share with families I serve, who seek a safe, yet engaging experience for their beloved children. While I realize that Camp EDMO is not specifically designed for children that are “differently abled,” it provides so many of the important foundations necessary for all types of kids to enjoy fun activities and explore new interests, all the while enhancing self confidence and a sense of belonging. Camp EDMO, we thank you for the outstanding service that you provide to the community all year round. It is the reason we offer our support and encourage others to do likewise. 

Herb and Gerri Thomas

During this season of gratitude, we want to take a moment to thank all who have supported our equity efforts over the past years. We live in a world where some kids get born into more advantageous circumstances than others. At Camp EDMO™, we try to do our part to level the playing field through the Sliding Scale Program we offer at ALL Summer Camp locations and our Equity Camps located in under resourced neighborhoods and Title 1 schools. The latter are made possible through school district funding, foundations and donors like you. 

Below is a story of giving from two of our Leadership Circle donors, Herb and Gerri Thomas. Last summer, Oakland Unified was in a budget crisis. There were no funds to run our Equity Camps in East Oakland as we had for five years prior. Herb and Gerri stepped up and helped us fund scholarships to send kids from East Oakland to our nearby Oakland site at Redwood Day School. Thanks to generous donations like theirs, we were able to fund scholarships for 24 East Oakland kids for a whopping 272 days of camp last summer. 

We can’t thank you enough, Herb and Gerri, and all our donors who made contributions small and large. You are a true force for equity in your community. If you have a moment, please read their EDMO story of giving below. 

In Gratitude, 

Eduardo Caballero
Edventure More, Executive Director & Co-Founder