Armed with swimsuits and sunscreen, sneakers and water bottles, kids from all walks of life buzz with excitement as they anticipate their week-long day camp adventures. For the 12th consecutive year, The Salvation Army in Oshawa, Ont., has opened its doors for summer day camp.
“Camp is a thrilling and unforgettable place where kids meet and interact with others from different cultural, social or financial backgrounds,” says Shona Burditt, Director of Youth and Children’s ministries. “Kids look forward to Day Camp all year. And, for some of our campers, camp is the only vacation they will get.”
The Thornton Road location also serves special needs children. “We accommodate children with ADD, autism and physical disabilities, to name a few,” says Shona. “At camp they often surprise themselves with what they accomplish. And we work closely with the parents of the children to ensure their child has the best experience possible.”
Day camp programs range from regular camp to sports camp to drama, arts and music camp. All of the programs are centered around a Bible-based theme and kids of all abilities work together to encourage and learn from one another. Self-esteem, independence and leadership skills are developed. These positive skills are often called upon later in life.
“While day camps give kids a summer getaway, parents also appreciate the break,” says Shona. “They are grateful to know their children are in good hands, developing knowledge and self-respect in a fun, nurturing and safe environment.”
Camp makes a child’s day a bit brighter. For some children it’s about kindness, patience and tone of voice. For others it’s a first trip to the zoo or local swimming pool. In any case, without camp these are things they may have never experienced.
Hear What the Kids Have to Say
Brilee, age nine: “The counsellors care about us a lot because they ask us what‘s wrong if we are sad. The kids are nice, but really hyper!”
Emily, age six: “I learned that God forgives all sins. And the kids here don’t bully.”
Charlie, age nine: “My favourite part of camp is going to the zoo. I like to see the lion.”
Julian, age six: “There are older counsellors and I like all of them. They give me colouring sheets when I’m in the crafts room.”
About Salvation Army Camps
Salvation Army camps in Canada have been making a difference in the lives of children since 1900. Today more than 4,500 children feel comfortable, relaxed and good about themselves through the Army’s sleep-away and day camps.
For more information on Salvation Army camps click here.