Duffle Bags and Dignity

by Linda Leigh
Categories: Feature
Share:

In Moncton, N.B, The Salvation Army’s unique camping program is providing additional dignity to vulnerable children by ensuring that each child arrives at camp as an equal.

Imagine the embarrassment of appearing at camp with a battered suitcase that contained one beat-up old pillow, or the isolation felt as you sat on the sidelines during pool time because you didn’t have a bathing suit. Heart-wrenching stories like these prompted The Salvation Army in Moncton to take action.

“While we serve children most in need by covering the cost of registration and transportation we now also equip our campers for the week,” says Natasha Burkett, Director of the Army’s Community and Family Services. “This means there is no discrimination between less fortunate and middle-class kids.

“What has become a community-wide effort alleviates undue stress and further financial hardship for the families involved and each child arrives at camp as an equal,” continues Natasha. “With support from partners like The Salvation Army’s local Advisory Board, Old Navy, Shoppers Drug Mart, and a local bowling club, The Salvation Army is providing children an unforgettable camping experience.”

Children often arrive on camp day loaded down with worries and problems at home. As they tote new sleeping bags and pillows, and rifle through new duffle bags filled with toiletries, towels, funky clothes, a bathing suit and pajamas, they are able to take a deep breath and experience the joys of just ‘being a kid.’

“Furthermore,” says Natasha, “the new items give the children confidence, a sense of worth and renewed self-esteem. And positive self-esteem is a child’s passport to future success.”

For more information on Salvation Army camps click here.