Hiking in the woods, making crafts, singing songs by a campfire — some of our fondest childhood memories come from summer camp.
For the most needy Rutherford County children, such simple joys can seem unattainable, leading to a summer spent idly searching for something fun to do … or perhaps getting into trouble.
The Salvation Army of Murfreesboro-Rutherford County wants to help struggling local families send their children to summer camp and is seeking community donations to send the 25 children signed up for this year’s camp, which begins in early June.
“It’s an experience not to be missed,” said Lt. Andy Seiler, who heads The Salvation Army in Rutherford County along with his wife, Lt. Monica Seiler. “Time spent at camp can be a life-changing experience for kids. It can instill feelings of self-worth, change their demeanor and brighten their outlook the future.”
Last year, thousands of children in the U.S. attended some 48 Salvation Army residential camps. Last summer, Rutherford Countians gave this gift to 25 local children, some of whom had never experienced a safe, loving environment 24 hours a day. Through these donations, children attended a weeklong camp where they played sports, swam, explored the outdoors and made crafts.
Beyond the recreation, trained counselors helped these children and youth learn how to live together with a diverse group of neighbors while dealing with the troubling issues that challenge them daily.
“School will be ending soon,” Seiler said. “I hope the community will come through for these deserving kids. For many of them, it's the highlight of the whole year. Our campers not only enjoy nutritious meals and explore the great outdoors, they learn important life-skills, like anger management and conflict resolution, that will serve them well in the future.”
To donate to The Salvation Army, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, 615-895-7071 or text “OTHERS” to 41444; mail your gifts to P.O. Box 791, Murfreesboro, TN 37133-0791; or make a donation online at www.salvationarmy.org.