TAYLOR COUNTY—Summer sleep-away camps provide children with a wonderful opportunity to take part in fun activities, make new friends and create memories that will last a lifetime, but because of the Coronavirus pandemic, many camps have been cancelled this year.
Seeing a need to offer an exciting, one-of-a-kind experience to the youths of Taylor County, the Grafton Salvation Army will be offering a fun alternative to their typical summer camp, that will be free of charge to participants.
“Because of COVID-19, we were forced to forgo the traditional overnight camping experience, but we still wanted to do something fun and engaging for the families in Grafton and Taylor County,” said Grafton Salvation Army Captain Denise “Dee” Stewart. “So, instead of our traditional camp, we will be offering a two-day vacation bible school, filled with lots of fun for anyone that attends.”
While most vacation bible schools (VBS) are only open to children of a certain age ranges, the Salvation Army will be providing their Camp Salvation VBS to youths of any age, both young and old, that would like to take part.
Throughout the two-day camp, participants will be treated to fun activities like fishing, music, games and scavenger hunts, just to name a few.
“During their time with us, everyone can take part in crafting and will be able to take home mementos from camp,” Stewart commented.
She shared that participants will be provided with compasses, binoculars and hats for them to color and use throughout the VBS.
“We will also be making lacing pillows that the kids can have their friends sign to keep as a reminder of their time at Camp Salvation,” Stewart added. “There will also be s’more making, because what would camp be without s’mores?”
Campers will also be treated to snacks and food during their time at camp. To help minimize the amount of exposure, Stewart reported that the food served will be pre-packaged.
Camp Salvation will be offering a curriculum similar to that of the Boy Scouts focused on outdoor recreation such as fishing, hiking, and camping through their Salvation Army Adventure Corps.
The program is a centered around character building and focuses on developing a participant’s individuality and potential.
With an aim to help partakers grow mentally, physically and spiritually while providing a safe, organized faith-based program, the Adventurers are provided with an opportunity to remind them that it is their duty to give back to their communities.
“During Camp Salvation, we will be utilizing a curriculum that will engage youths to take part in programs that will better the communities they live in,” said Stewart. “And, in addition to the fun, games and crafts, we will be holding devotions.”
She reiterated that the VBS was open to youths of any age wishing to get in on the fun and excitement.
Camp Salvation will be held on Friday, August 28 and Saturday, August 29, from noon-6:00 p.m., at Maple Avenue Park. In the event of rain, the fun will be moved indoors at the Salvation Army’s Community Room, housed within their building at 111 Beech Street, Grafton.
To take part in the two-day VBS, participants may register ahead of time by calling the Grafton Salvation Army at 304-265-3565 or may just show up at noon on Friday.
“We just really wanted to do something fun for the youths of the area. So, we hope that they will come out to our day adventure camp,” Stewart imparted. “The Coronavirus has already taken so much from these kids, and we just want to make sure that they have an exciting camp-like experience.”