SAVANNAH, Ga. – Early Sunday morning 45 young men boarded a bus headed to a place far from the streets of Savannah.
The group is part of the inaugural Isolation for Renovation camp, a free five-day experience in Society Hill, South Carolina.
Trayvon Jenkins, 15, told WSAV he was excited to get a break from his sisters and get out outdoors.
“Being in nature instead of being in the house playing video games and everything,” he said.
Hosted by Helping Hands of Savannah, the boys are split into groups upon arrival. Campers come into the trip with various backgrounds, including some with criminal backgrounds. From there campers will focus on developing life skills, prep for college and the job search, gun safety, sex education, and developing relationships not centered around phones or social media.
“The goal is to hopefully have them come back here [home] and never see a courtroom again,” camp director John Bush said.
Local law enforcement also donated transportation and staff to serve as mentors for the camp and beyond.
“These guys here are working with the kids. They aren’t working against the kids.And these kids need to see that these guys are here for them,” Bush said of law enforcement.
Mentors also include young adults like Dante Maulsby, 22.
“Good to have the younger brothers doing something positive instead of they out there killing each other,” he said.
The campers are set to return to downtown Savannah on Wednesday. From there, those who chose so can begin a year long mentor program to further advance the skills and relationships they form during their camp experience.