Always a Camper"Camp staff, counselors, parents and campers alike are getting together to move forward even in the middle of this pandemic."
Camp staff, counselors, parents and campers alike are getting together to move forward even in the middle of this pandemic. Time will pass but these kids will always remember the summer of 2020.
I’ve always been a camper. No extra plans, no other responsibilities. Don’t count on me because I’m OUT! I traveled to many camps: music camp, adventure, sports etc. And I loved it! We, as campers, didn’t care about ticks or slugs while walking through the bushes. We would jump into the lake every day, even when the water was dirty. We would end every day at our cabins with muddy sneakers and sleep in our noisy, creaky beds. Even if we had different activities, we would gather at our table for breakfast, lunch and dinner. We would pray, sing our songs and make noise every day, happy to be together. Such a great feeling! Fires, marshmallows, stories. Games, dances, laughs. Fun, crazy, memorable experiences.
Now, I’m 24 and a staff member, still having fun and having the privilege to enjoy what I love with my campers.
However, this year turned out differently. (Enter: a global pandemic.) School ended early. No one can get out of their houses. Kids are bored. Parents are about to lose their minds. And to top it all off, summer camp is probably canceled too, or at least it’s going to look very, very different.
But in May 2020, the youth department from the GNY (Greater New York) division decided to create “Camp in a Box.” In the beginning, I questioned it, “How are we going to be able to portray camp in a box?” Camp is supposed to be a personal and Godly experience while surrounded by nature.
While challenging at first, we remained hopeful. Our task this year was to use a special ingredient to make this experience successful: our imagination. The lake transformed into a paint palette; the dirt on our sneakers moved to our hands while doing arts and crafts. We went to bed excited, waiting to virtually meet our new friends from the other side of the city. Our normal activities included devotionals, games and Bible challenges. We used creativity and ingenuity to make a new environment in our own homes.
I thought it was going to be difficult, but children have a natural disposition to imagine and create things. It’s kind of incredible.
Be Bold: International Day of the Girl
“Be Bold.” That was the theme of this year’s “International Day of the Girl” event, hosted by The Salvation Army International Social Justice Commission on Facebook Live on October 10. Featuring international panelists, dances, art, music performances, poetry, drama and speeches, “Be Bold” amplified the voices of young Salvationist girls, highlighting what it’s like being a girl in the church today.
To see the highlights of this event, follow @salvationarmyisjc on Facebook.
After slight adjustments to its program, The Salvation Army Christian Education Department at NHQ announced “BOLD 2.0” earlier this year! For Corps Cadet programs nationwide to use, it includes videos, a new student book and an altered test structure.
Follow along @BOLDcorpscadets on Twitter.
The Red Pencil Project
Echelon chapters have faced many challenges this year due to COVID-19, but our dedicated members have not let this pandemic stop them from serving their local communities.
One great example of this can be seen in our Hawaii chapter (@echelonhi) through their Red Pencil Project. The Red Pencil Project began in 2016 and originally intended to be a one-time donation drive to provide local students with backpacks full of school supplies, but the project evolved and continued annually, working with the same four schools and building strong relationships with the teachers and students. In addition to providing school supplies, The Red Pencil Project now also includes quarterly visits with students where Echelon members lead activities to teach about generosity, kindness, compassion and service.
With the onset of COVID-19, the chapter was faced with new challenges as they had to raise funds for school supplies and continue visits with the students safely. By continuing to press forward and not letting this pandemic discourage them, Echelon Hawaii were able to gather the needed funds and also worked out a plan to meet with students virtually to continue teaching them about how to help others. Great job, Echelon Hawaii!
By Katie Seifu, National Echelon Manager
In The Wake of Hurricane Laura
Category 4 Hurricane Laura pummeled Lake Charles, LA, early morning on Thursday, August 27 and left a path of destruction in its wake. Disaster relief lasted for two weeks in cities Alexandria and Monroe, LA, and still continue on in Lake Charles, the hardest-hit area.
There are 24 mobile feeding units and a full IMAT (Incident Management Assistance Team) in active service throughout Lake Charles providing food, hydration and cleaning supplies to combat dehydration in 90 degrees due to power and water outages.
The need in Laura-ravaged Lake Charles is still great, where The Salvation Army is continuing to serve an average of 10,000 meals each day. To date, The Salvation Army has provided over 260,000 meals in response to Hurricane Laura throughout affected areas of Louisiana and Texas—nearly 200,000 of those meals were provided in Lake Charles alone.
For the latest information, follow @SalArmyEDS on Facebook.
Christmas is arriving early this year. With the world in a global pandemic, The Salvation Army launched its annual holiday campaign in September. #RescueChristmas aims to support 155 percent more people in 2020 with Christmas assistance, including putting food on the table, paying bills, providing shelter and helping place gifts under the tree.
You can donate via Apple Pay, Google Pay, texting “KETTLES” to 91999, or at any one of the famous red kettles located in the front of retail stores.
For more information on how you can donate this year, visit salvationarmyus.org.