The first official day of summer is only 1 week away, and most schools have either dismissed for the year or are getting ready to. For students, this means nearly 3 amazing months to play, explore, and just be a kid!
There’s nothing that greater epitomizes the summer experience as camp. Last year, more than 180,500 kids explored the outdoors, participated in sports, created arts & crafts, played music, learned about the Bible and more at our Salvation Army summer camps and day camps across the country.
Many camps are already in enrolling. You can register your child for a summer camp by contacting your local Salvation Army (search by zip code here) or a day camp by contacting a Kroc Center near you.
If you don’t have kids, you can help provide a camp scholarship to a child in need by donating to your local Salvation Army. In the article “Summer Camp Memories” published in the June 11 War Cry, contributor Laurie Miller fondly recounts The Salvation Army’s Camp Arnold at Timberlake in Eatonville, Washington, which she described as her “home away from home for seven summers” when she was growing up.
After explaining that many of her fellow campers came from broken homes and abusive family situations, Laurie writes:
“For years, I thought camp was just a free vacation I deserved as a child. Later, when I learned a fee was involved, I wondered how my mom could afford to send me each year. Not until I was an adult in my 20s did I realize that a woman from our church had sponsored us to go every year. I’m not sure she ever really knew how much going to Camp Arnold truly meant to me.”
As Laurie shows us, the experiences of a summer can impact the rest of a camper’s life. Whether you send your own child to camp or help to send someone else’s, consider how you can help The Salvation Army make a difference in a young person’s life this summer.
For more information about how The Salvation Army serves approximately 30 million Americans in need every year, visit our website at www.salvationarmyusa.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Did you know that Joan Kroc, widow of McDonalds’ founder Ray Kroc, gave one of the largest charitable gifts in history to The Salvation Army? Click on our National Salvation Army Week ‘Did You Know’ video to find out more!
* Beaumont, TX: The Salvation Army will host the second annual Kids Book Fair on Friday, May 13, at the Point North Housing Complex.
* Modesto, CA: The Salvation Army’s Red Shield youth members will provide a Boxing Demonstration at the Vintage Faire Mall on May 14.
* Nashville, TN: The Nashville Sounds minor league baseball team will host The Salvation Army as Charity of the Night on Saturday, May 14. The Army will host a booth at the stadium featuring activities and giveaways for families and kids as the Sounds take on the Sacramento Rivercats.
Any time a new Kroc Corps Community Center opens somewhere in the country, we get excited just thinking about all the great programs and services that the local area will soon experience. Whether it’s fitness classes, job training courses, or after school programs, it’s overwhelming just to think about all the opportunities available. We believe the late Mrs. Joan Kroc would be very proud to see how her vision and generous endowment has developed from one Kroc Center in San Diego, CA to a growing network of Kroc Centers across the country, each deeply invested in their local communities.
This week I came across a story from The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division’s blog about the Kroc Center under construction in Chicago. Though it’s not slated to open until 2012, the Kroc is already investing in the community, as well as allowing the community to invest in the Center.
Eight local residents have already completed a construction training program sponsored by the Kroc’s general contractor, and their first job very well may be helping build the Kroc Center itself! It’s a unique opportunity for these individuals to become invested in the Kroc on a whole different level.
According to Chicago’s blog, the Kroc Center will create 220 construction jobs for locals during its two-year construction phase and another 200+ permanent jobs once it’s open. Read more about how the Kroc is benefiting the Chicago area even before it’s open, here at The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division’s blog.
Chicago’s all abuzz these days with Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s jump into the mayoral race.
But that’s not all that’s going on in the Windy City this week. City residents, along with the hopeful candidate who’s equally known for being a “workout fanatic,” may be interested in some other news-worthy buzz from The Salvation Army:
This Thursday The Salvation Army is officially breaking ground on Chicago’s Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center. Plus, the Chicago White Sox have generously donated $1 million to the construction efforts!
The future facility will be a gym enthusiast’s dream, housing an indoor sports complex, basketball and tennis courts, an aquatic center, a state of the art fitness center, a climbing wall, basketball courts and more.
But if you’re not as much an exercise enthusiast as Rahm, don’t worry. The Kroc Center will offer a lot more than just opportunities for physical activity. It will also house a Family Life and Education center and an Academy of the Arts, where Chicagoans can have access to after-school programs, job training, educational classes, and workshops that have never before been so easily accessible. The Kroc will offer a little bit of everything for almost every interest represented by Chicagoans!
In an official press release White Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf stated, “Our commitment to the development of the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center is part of a dedication to bettering the lives of all Chicagoans. The White Sox, as a professional sports organization, are accountable to all of our fans and the entire Chicago community. We commend the Salvation Army for their work and devotion to the growth of people of all ages, races and genders, and we hope White Sox Charities’ support will help the organization achieve its mission of building a community center to serve Chicagoans of all ages.”
If you can’t make it to Thursday’s groundbreaking, learn more about this awesome community initiative at the Kroc’s website www.kroccenterchicago.org or on the center’s Facebook page (KrocChicago).
We’ve waited all year and it’s finally here – the first day of summer! The season is a veritable celebration of life’s simplest pleasures, such as shedding your shoes for a barefoot jaunt in the grass, lingering on the porch to enjoy a beautiful sunset, and savoring the smell of charcoal as the breeze carries with it the aromas of outdoor barbecues.
And of course, it can’t be summer without a cold scoop of ice cream! Thankfully, Denali Flavors, creators of Moose Tracks Ice Cream, has this covered.
In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Denali Flavors will give out 10,000 free scoops of Moose Tracks ice cream today in an event that not only celebrates the inauguration of summer, but also supports The Salvation Army. For every scoop of ice cream eaten, Denali Flavors will donate $1 to The Salvation Army’s Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Grand Rapids that is scheduled to open later this year. The money will help support the many programs that will be offered to local youth in the areas of education, fine arts, sports, health, and spiritual development. The multi-use facility will contain a gymnasium and performing arts, education, aquatic, fitness and worship centers.
You can read more information about the progress of The Salvation Army’s Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Grand Rapids by visiting their website HERE.
If you’ve ever played on a sports team or been involved in athletic activities, you understand what a positive role sports play in healthy physical, emotional, and social development. Plus, being active is fun!
Recreational activities are an important part of The Salvation Army’s mission in serving others and provide wonderful opportunities to support and build up youth and communities as a whole. With summer just around the corner, The Salvation Army and several professional sports role models have been busy making sure kids have a chance to get active and play! Here are just a few examples taking place right now across the country:
Tomorrow (June 12) in Durham, NC, NFL quarterback David Garrard will host his second annual Air It Out Football & Cheer Camp. Garrard’s foundation has enabled children from The Salvation Army to attend at no charge! In addition to Garrard, several NFL players and college cheerleaders will be personally facilitating the camp.
Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones
Dallas Cowboys running back Felix Jones and The Salvation Army each pledged $25,000 to the North Mabee Boys & Girls Club in Tulsa, OK during an MVP Weekend camp for local children, which included a “Sound Mind, Sound Body” football camp for high school players. Participating campers even got personal playing tips from Jones, as well as New Orleans Saints wide receiver and Super Bowl champion Robert Meachem.
The United Football League (UFL) Nighthawks in Omaha, NE donated $25,000 to the Salvation Army Kroc Center to establish two mentoring programs for local children. Through the Mini-Hawk program, Nighthawk players will have the opportunity to mentor children ages 12 and under. Through a second program geared at older kids, teenagers will have the opportunity to meet and interact with members of the Nighthawks team.
Also, players from the Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Commissioner David Stern kicked off the new NBA Cares Learn & Play Center at The Salvation Army Los Angeles Red Shield Youth & Community Center. The Lakers played with and encouraged the kids at the opening event. The Center, newly furnished with books and computers, will provide a great place youth to develop physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
We recently showed you Part 1 of an Honor Society interview where they sat down with The Salvation Army in Norfolk, VA. If you need to catch up and watch the video, check it out at our original post because now we have Part 2!
The band discusses their time with the kids at The Salvation Army’s Kroc Center in San Francisco, their experience on the Bed and Bread Truck in Detroit, and why they wanted to partner with us again.
For more information about the hit band Honor Society and how they’re helping to “do the most good” through their partnership with The Salvation Army, visit their website at www.honorsocietymusic.com or follow them on Twitter @honorsociety.
As we recognize Earth Day’s 40th anniversary, we want to share with you a few ways The Salvation Army strives to be responsible stewards of our environment and resources, as well as some fun events we’re holding to celebrate Earth Day: ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY PROGRAMS EnviRenew is a Salvation Army initiative that advocates comprehensive green building [...]
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) our nation’s childhood obesity rate has more than tripled in the last 30 years, yet many schools are eliminating or reducing recess, and it’s reported that almost 1 in 4 high schoolers (grades 9-12) do not engage in physical activity during their free time.
The Salvation Army of Atlanta is working to counter this problem by providing kids with exciting opportunities to get active! This past month they held the All Star Youth Basketball Workshop at The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center where children not only had the chance to hit the courts, but they also learned great skills and techniques from pro basketball legends!
Ikenna Ubaka, Program Manager for the Center, said they collaborated with the Atlanta Chapter of The National Basketball Retired Players Association (NBRPA) and INNER GOOD HEALTH & FITNESS INC. to offer two weeks of fitness sessions and basketball skills clinics for 6 and 7 grade youth.
Local boys and girls were able to learn firsthand from INNER GOOD fitness instructors, The Atlanta Battlecats (Women’s Basketball Team), and NBA Legends from the Atlanta Chapter of NBRPA. The sessions concluded with the Center’s Annual Julius “Dr. J” Biddy Ball Tournament with NBA Hall of Famer Julius Erving.
Dr. J himself grew up playing basketball at The Salvation Army in Hempstead, New York and continues to support the Hempstead and Atlanta’s youth teams.
Other NBA legends involved with the event included Cory Blackwell, Vincent Askew, and Duane Causwell.
The Salvation Army Youth Recreational and Character Building Programs strive to meet the increasing challenges of Metro Atlanta youth by providing the essential recreational, social, educational, and social development tools they need to live happier and healthier lives. To find out more about The Salvation Army’s Atlanta youth programs visit www.salvationarmyatlanta.org.