Salvation Army sends Chilliwack kids to camp

The Salvation Army is sending 30-35 underprivileged, at-risk kids in Chilliwack to camp this summer.

Several kids in Chilliwack who otherwise wouldn't have the opportunity to go to camp are being provided that childhood rite of passage this month through the sponsorship of Chilliwack Salvation Army.

Camp Sunrise is like any other sleep-away camp – kids running around from dawn to dusk, screaming with glee at the different crafts, sports, and activities filling their days, singing ’til their lungs go dry, and forming lifelong friendships – but with one difference.

For the kids at Camp Sunrise, their families don’t have the means to send them there.

Enter the Salvation Army.

For several decades, the Christian organization has been sending underprivileged children to camps across Canada to experience a week of carefree activities with no worries, no fears, no judgements – a week of what being a child should be.

In Chilliwack, that means 30-35 children between the ages of 7 and 12, who otherwise wouldn’t have this opportunity, get to go to camp.

“These kids are worth investing in,” said Chilliwack summer camps’ coordinator Chrisandra Nagel. “Every child deserves a chance. And the need is very real. We have a waiting list, but we can only afford to take so many.”

At a cost of $300 per child, plus the cost of a bus rental, the Chilliwack charity is looking at $11,500 to send this year’s group of kids. So far, it’s raised $5,000.

“If we could send every child, we would,” said Nagel.

“Parents can’t always do it on their own. It takes a community to raise a child and this is one way of doing that.”

For Tricia, a Chilliwack mom of six children, the Salvation Army’s summer camps have been a godsend not only for her children, but for her as well.

When Tricia was a child in foster care, happy moments were few and far between. That is, until she boarded the bus for camp.

“That was my escape,” she said. “I was safe there. All my problems at home didn’t exist for me there.”

Now, years later, her own children are experiencing those same joys.

While Tricia tries to do everything she can to provide for her children, she still falls under the “working poor” classification despite having full-time employment. Her income just doesn’t allow for extras like camp.

“There’s no way I could do it,” she said. “They wouldn’t be able to go.”

Which she believes would be a shame.

Camp Sunrise isn’t just about the camp experience, it’s about giving young children respite from the stresses, struggles, obstacles, and fears crowding their lives. Situated on Vancouver Island, it encourages emotional, social, physical and spiritual growth, with the intent of instilling in a child a stronger sense of self, individual worth, personal effectiveness and responsibility.

Tricia has seen the benefits first hand.

When her oldest daughter first went to Camp Sunrise at eight years old, she was timid and scared to leave her mom’s side, but after just a week she came home with a boost of self confidence.

“She believed in herself and her studies, and every year since she’s counted down the days to camp,” said Tricia, who has a drawer full of camp shirts, some that have faded and become more of tattered rags than t-shirts, but that her kids refuse to let her throw away

“Those shirts and those memories mean so much to them. At camp, everyone is accepted no matter who they are or where they come from – they’re all equals.”

This year’s camp runs from July 23-28.

Anyone interested in sponsoring a child, can contact the Salvation Army Care and Share Centre at 604-792-0001, or visit the website at www.salvationarmychilliwack.ca.

kbartel@theprogress.com

twitter.com/schoolscribe33

Just Posted

Third storm in a week hits Chilliwack

Power knocked out to about 2,600 BC Hydro customers

Chilliwack Chiefs rally falls one short in loss to Langley

The Rivermen jumped out to a 4 goal lead then hung on for a 4-3 win at Prospera Centre.

UPDATED: Gunfire erupts in quiet Langley neighbourhood early this morning

Police have 79A Avenue cordoned off after reports of shots just before 5 a.m.

Search continues near Ashcroft for missing Prince George woman

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Prevailing in the face of adversity

Chilliwack pilot living life to fullest will speak at UFV Oct. 23

VIDEO: Daze of Derby hosts teams from around B.C. and Washington

Reformatted tourney squeezed all the action into a one-day event.

Silver Creek reacts after remains found, man arrested

Neighbours of property where remains were found say man arrested was sweet and polite

VIDEO: Oprah Winfrey and a celebrities attend ‘B.C. Miracle Concert’

Fundraiser featured Foster, Steven Tyler, The Tenors, Matteo Bocelli, Laura Bretan, Carly Rae Jepsen

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Most Read