The president of the Christian Camp and Conference Association recently said that as many as 10 to 15 camps will no longer be in operation by the end of the year. Add that to the dozens of camps that have already ceased operation in the last few years, and that means a whole lot of kids won’t get to have a summer camp experience to remember the rest of their lives.
My summer church camp memories are such a part of my life that I can’t imagine someone having to go without. As if it were yesterday, I remember the campfires, the Bible studies, the new friends and of course, a bee sting or two. I also remember that sinking feeling I got on the last day when I would have done anything to be able to stay and have the experience all over again.
The truth is, there are kids who don’t ever go to camp, and perhaps never venture very far from the urban landscape where they live. Thankfully, all over the US donors are making it possible for The Salvation Army to give kids the opportunity to experience God in the wonder of His creation at camp.
Emmanuel was one of those kids. His mom struggled to raise him and his siblings. He did what he could to help by getting up earlier than the rest of the family to heat water on the stove so they could wash up before school. His mom came to The Salvation Army for some basic assistance and when the staff met him they offered him a spot at camp. He took it and had the time of his life!
Watch Emmanuel’s story on the Sacramento, California Salvation Army’s YouTube channel and think about what you can do to make sure summer camping experiences are never out of reach for the kids who need them most.
And, while you’re at it, Google the name of the summer camp you went to as a kid. Before the summer’s out, be sure to send them a check (any amount will do!) so they can continue to do what they do too.