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UPFRONT: Summer Camp

A Life–Changing Getaway

This summer, thousands of kids will have a rich opportunity: attending a Salvation Army summer camp program at one of 45 residential summer camps across the country.

Many of the kids come from low–income urban families. When they get away to a camp in the country, they will experience many firsts: swimming in a pool or lake, telling stories and roasting marshmallows around a campfire, having pillow fights and devotions in a camp cabin or worship in an outdoor theater.

Some kids who already attend Salvation Army programs in local corps (churches), come to camp to earn emblems or badges. At music camps, kids learn to play an instrument or refine their techniques. Camps for teens offer organized sports and programs and classes designed to help them face life issues. A few camps, such as one called PAL in Missouri, help kids referred by the juvenile courts to refocus their lives.

The summer camping experience is not limited to kids. Some camps give adults who are in Salvation Army rehabilitation programs the opportunity to have a place of quiet and beauty to engage in honest reflection and experience spiritual rebirth. And there are special camping experiences tailored to senior citizens. For example, camps for grandparents raising their grandchildren allow caregivers to come to camp the same week as the kids. The grandparents can enjoy nature, activities and rest, knowing that their grandchildren are safe in another part of the camp.

No matter what age a camper is, the summer experience can be life–changing as new friendships blossom, attitudes arve changed, and campers encounter the living God.

CAMP TRIVIA

How long has the SA run summer camps?
100+ years

How many people go to SA summer camps?
185,000 in residential and day camp programs

At which location do some campers arrive by plane?
Homelani on the island of Oahu, Hawaii

For a moving video about camp, visit http://tinyurl.com/p7tu5w2

NICHOLE-NORDEMAN
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