Ontario Central East Division


Summer Camp Changes Lives in Positive Ways


Healthy, hearty meals, Bible lessons, canoeing, tight ropes and campfires. That’s what close to 4,000 children will experience at Salvation Army camps this year.

Captain Rick Zelinsky, Executive Director for Ontario Camping Ministries, used to attend Salvation Army camp as a child. He says if kids are looking for a fun, well-rounded summer camp experience, this is it.


Young camper enjoys water day at summer camp


Young camper enjoys water day at summer camp

“Camp gives them freedom to be a kid,” says Zelinsky. “It’s a great opportunity to meet friends and there’s immediate comradery. It’s a friendship that moves beyond the borders of our camp property.”


Eleven-year-old Sebastian will be attending Salvation Army camp for a third consecutive year. “I look forward to seeing my friends, learning about God and all the different activities,” says Sebastian.

The ultimate goal is to give kids the tools to succeed in life–courage, empathy, positive attitude and how to be part of a team, which Sebastian has really come to enjoy. Sebastian says Salvation Army camp has given him more self-confidence, responsibility, knowledge of God and music. He loves to play ball hockey but archery is where he really shines.

“Camp leaders listen to you and answer your questions,” says Sebastian. “They’re happy, make me laugh and cheer me on.”

One of the areas Sebastian has become more comfortable with is performing. In the evenings, skits are acted out and there’s even stand-up comedy.

“I feel comfortable going on stage, and performing in front of everyone,” Sebastian says.

The camp operates with lots of empathy. There are many staff who have attended Salvation Army camp at a young age. They feel that working at camp gives them an opportunity to influence the lives of children and youth, for good.

Learning archery at summer camp


Learning archery at summer camp


“I hope kids leave camp with the understanding that God loves them and there is a purpose for their life,” says Zelinsky. “That’s one part of the program. Another aspect is that Salvation Army Camps strengthen families and are a place of retreat and respite for the kids.”

To donate to The Salvation Army’s camping program, click here.

By Shannon Wise


Related Articles


The Salvation Army Launches National Fundraising Appeal to Support BC Fires Disaster Response


TORONTO, July 11, 2017 /THQ/—“As wildfires rage in B.C.'s interior, The Salvation Army’s Emergency and Disaster Services is on alert to provide fast, efficient service to first responders and those impacted by the disaster,” says Lt-Colonel Brian Venables, Divisional Commander. “The Salvation Army’s established and well-rehearsed emergency protocol allows the organization to offer practical support such as food and water, as well as emotional and spiritual care.” 

With more than 14,000 people already evacuated, Salvation Army emergency response teams have supported several […]


Salvation Army Thrift Store sends nearly 800 Kids to Summer Camps in 2017


The lives of 776 less fortunate kids nationwide will be forever impacted this summer by the generosity of their local communities who supported The Salvation Army Thrift Store’s 2017 Send a Kid to Camp campaign.

Taking place over six weeks in 109 Thrift Store locations, the campaign raised the bar for the seventh year having collected a new record of $170,862 from generous donors. With a national goal of providing support to send 600 kids to Salvation Army summer camps, […]