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Salvation Army raises money for summer camp

By Rebecca Rider

rebecca.rider@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Salvation Army is currently accepting donations that will help more than 100 local children attend summer camp.

For more than 30 years, the Rowan Salvation Army has been offering youth from Salvation Army programs the chance to attend Camp Walter Johnson, in Denton, N.C.

“It gets them to an environment where they’re safe and secure for the summer,” Corps Officer Captain Bobby Carr said.

The camp is less than an hour’s drive from the Salvation Army building on Bringle Ferry Road. Carr said it sits on High Rock Lake, and offers a week of paddle boats, canoeing, a pool, and fun programs for kids.

The Salvation Army collects donations so that it can waive the $200 attendance fee, and Carr said they need about $12,000 to send the estimated 100 children to camp. That amount would also provide funding for six children to attend an all-summer music camp.

“We’re probably only about 25 percent of the way there right now, so we’ve got a ways to go,” Carr said.

Students can also do volunteer work to help pay their way, Carr said. The camp is open for two weeks to any child from the community who would like to attend. Acceptance is not contingent on ability to pay the attendance fee, Carr said. Carr said the Salvation Army does offer a sliding scale attendance fee – so if all a family can afford to pay is $20, that’s all they’ll have to pay.

“We don’t want that to be a hindrance,” he said.

While the Salvation Army currently has approximately 100 children in programs who are eligible for a week at Camp Walter Johnson, Carr said the organization hopes to send nearly 200.

He called the camp an “underutilized resource” and encouraged families to apply. Camp memories are something that can only be during a brief window in a child’s life.

“If you miss it, then it’s gone,” he said.

Carr said many children choose to go back to camp for several years in a row, or choose to return as counselors – or join the Salvation Army. Camp memories are unique, he said, and the friendships forged during a week in the summer can last a lifetime.

“It’s a positive experience . . . it’s a chance to meet new people,” he said.

Camp season begins in early June and runs through July. To help send area children to camp, send donations to the Salvation Army, P.O Box  625, Salisbury, NC. 28146. Call 704-636-6491 for e-mail Bobby Carr at Bobby.Carr@uss.salvationarmy.org for information on applying to attend Camp Walter Johnson.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.

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