The craft area at The Salvation Army’s Pine Lake Camp is covered in partially constructed wooden birdhouses in various stages of gluing and nailing. Small, intent little faces are concentrating hard on making them just right. Josh, a first-time camper, just finished making his first birdhouse. "This is my birdhouse. I made it," he says proudly with a big smile. "I've never made one before!"
Making bird houses is just one of many new options available to campers this summer at Pine Lake Camp. In addition to wall climbing, a low ropes course, canoeing, and mountain biking, there is also photography, swimming lessons, tie dying, and geo caching. Some of the senior campers also get the opportunity to try tenting for a night, and the long-awaited brand-new sports court is ready for basketball, tennis, soccer, and more!
"We've been working on these new programs for a long time," says Divisional Youth Secretary Capt. Ian Gillingham. "It's very rewarding for all that hard work come to fruition, and to see these kids enjoy it all to the fullest."
Giving children access to activities and sports they might not normally get to try is part of what makes this camp so special. Creating memories, making life-long friends, and having a week to just enjoy being a kid can help relieve some of the stresses of home. The Salvation Army tries to make camp accessible for every child regardless of circumstance, and subsidies are available if needed.