Inner-city kids experience camp

It wouldn’t be summer without camp—especially for kids in the Golden State Division, who participate in programs at The Salvation Army’s Camp Redwood Glen, near the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Each year, more than 1,200 children from San Francisco and central California attend summer camp; the facility is in use beyond the summer season as well. “From September through May, we do conferencing, and will have about 100 groups per season,” said Camp Director Mark Morton. “We also do adventure programming, which consists of high ropes, low ropes, and team building.”

But it’s the summer camp program for inner-city children—enabling them to experience the fun of outdoors in safe and nurturing surroundings—that provides the greatest opportunity to radically change lives.

“Participating in our summer camp program offers them the opportunity to live in cabins for a week in a wilderness setting and gain new skills and self-reliance,” said Joye Storey, city program coordinator, who notes activities include overnight camp-outs and nature walks.

Camp activities include arts and crafts, swimming, canoeing, basketball, soccer, tennis, and music lessons. Bible study classes are also offered. The property has 20 modern cabins, with room for eight children and a counselor.

A number of opportunities exist to develop leadership and life skills. A Student Mentor Housing Program allows college students to live on the grounds while they go to school. In exchange for room and board and a small stipend, the students work during the academic year for the conference center. “As part of the program, the students have academic accountability and weekly Christian mentoring by our leadership staff,” said Morton.

The camp also offers 18-month program internships; the program focuses on learning all aspects (from recruiting to human resources to certifications in water safety and wilderness first responder) of running the summer camp program, including taking a leadership role in operating the outdoor adventure camp and year round adventure program.

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