Southwest division sends military kids to camp

militarykidsswBy Melany Stroupe – 

More than 100 Valley kids from military families left for a weeklong summer camp at Camp Ponderosa Ranch in Heber, Ariz.

Kids ages 7 to 12 left Monday Aug. 28, for all the archery, fishing, zip lining, arts and crafts activities they could enjoy.

“We want to say thank you to the U.S. military for what they do for our freedoms, to keep us safe,” said Captain Anthony Barnes, Southwest divisional youth secretary.”It’s an opportunity for us to pour into them by teaching about character building, [and] teaching them about physical exercise. [It’s about] teaching them how to stretch their minds, their bodies, and their hearts … all in the same week.”

This is the second year that The Salvation Army Southwest Division has provided a free camp to children of military families.

It worked closely with several military  personnel in surrounding bases to identify families. Some children came from homes where parents were currently deployed overseas.  The cost of the camp is covered by The Salvation Army and its donors.

“It’s a small way to thank our military personnel for all they given us and the many sacrifices they have made,” Barnes said.

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