When Lawrence Hamm II, senior manager of sports development and strategy at Destination DC, started his basketball camp in 2009 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, he didn’t quite know what to expect.
The former Harrisburg High star had spent time overseas playing basketball in Prague and wanted to offer kids in his community a way to gain valuable life skills that they otherwise may not have a chance to learn.
“The camp started as an idea my father and I came up with to give back to these kids,” Hamm says. “But we knew we needed a platform and basketball was that platform.”
Flash forward a decade and Hamm Camp is the largest free camp in Pennsylvania, supporting approximately 300 Harrisburg youth each summer. Hamm has switched to a larger venue and the camp is now spread out over two weeks with two different age groups.
“It’s grown to a point where we’ve got the YMCA involved,” he says. “We’ve got the Boys and Girls Club involved and it’s really taken off.”
Hamm says that while basketball is the vehicle, he wants kids to learn skills that will better equip them as they grow up and enter into society.