Buckaroo breakfast held

Nampa, Idaho kids enjoy breakfast and Snake River Stampede.

by Jason Belanger and Captain Mark King –

Salvation Army summer camp attendees wait in line for a cowboy breakfast.

What is your typical Monday morning like? Here at the Nampa Corps, we don’t have “typical” Monday mornings. We have a ten-week summer day camp that provides a safe, positive, and fun place for the children of Nampa. The schedule is jammed packed with activities—crafts, swimming, free movies at a local cinema, field trips and Christian education. It’s a non-stop adventure!

On a recent Monday, we were invited to attend the Buckaroo Breakfast held at the Idaho Center, which serves as the kick-off event for the 92nd Annual Snake River Stampede—one of the 12th largest rodeo events in the United States. The Nampa Chamber of Commerce and a local bank donated tickets, and the bank also provided a bus to transport children and staff to the Idaho Center.

At 9:00 a.m. we began loading 52 energetic and excited children on the bus. When the children, dressed in their bright-yellow youth center tee shirts, arrived at the Idaho Center, the savory aroma of sausage, eggs, and pancakes greeted them, as the local 4-H chapter cooked breakfast just outside the doors of the center. Many of the children come from homes where money is extremely tight or virtually non-existent, so such a meal was a real treat.

There was more to our morning than just breakfast! One of the sponsors asked if we would like to stay and watch some of the preliminary events, which turned out to be steer roping and steer wrestling. We were ushered to the first four rows of the arena, and the children watched in wide-eyed wonder as real cowboys attempted to outsmart and lasso a steer.
It was an opportunity for the children to participate and spend some time away from the normal routine of life. It wouldn’t have been possible without community support and the willingness to donate resources to allow children to take part in this national event. This act of generosity and compassion may have inspired one of these young children to want to be a real cowboy, a member of a local 4-H club, or a generous citizen wanting to bring joy to the life of a child.


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