Camp Camaraderie

Jul 2, 2019 | by Katherine Basaran

Every year, during the warm summer months the town of Bedford, Indiana comes to life. That’s because over 600 children from communities across the state travel there for a week-long stay at Hidden Falls Camp, The Salvation Army’s 700-acre property.  And with all of the different groups of children that arrive, regardless of where they are from, they bring with them a summer filled with laughter, friendship and learning.     

The Salvation Army uses the beautiful Hidden Falls Camp in many different ways to serve others in its mission to Do The Most Good.  Whether it’s through bringing underprivileged children to camp for the first time, through community events and programs, or through utilizing Hidden Falls as a retreat and meeting center, The Salvation Army sees tremendous value in the space and want to use it to do good at every opportunity.  That’s why when there was one week during the popular summer months that wasn’t booked with activities; The Salvation Army decided to open it up to the Indiana National Guard.  The camp would be for children whose parents are enlisted in the military; it is called Camp AT South.    

Camp AT South is a unique opportunity for these children to come together and meet their peers who have had the same types of experiences that they have. For many of them, their parent is overseas serving our country.  Having a parent that is actively deployed can cause a lot of stress and fear of the unknown. This camp provides an opportunity for them to meet others going through the same situation.  They can enjoy the fun of Hidden Falls, while building friendships that will last a lifetime. 

Camp AT South is a mix of traditional camp activities such as swimming and crafts as well as military training.  They learn some of the exercises done in Basic and Annual Training (AT) to give them an idea of the training their parents have gone through.  They also participate in many team-building activities and navigational training as well. 

“Hidden Falls Camp is constantly updating, adding to, and improving its programs to benefit the kids. When the opportunity presented itself to start Camp AT South for children of the Indiana National Guard, the whole staff was onboard.” Jeanie Dobney, Director at Hidden Falls Camp shared. “Camp AT South is a great camp that is really rewarding for the Hidden Falls Staff.” 

The Salvation Army has long had a strong relationship with American armed forces.   Camp AT South is a way to help our soldiers’ families in a meaningful and lasting way.  Thank you for helping us make this service available this summer and for years to come.    


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