Helping All Kids Enjoy Summer
Summer is a time of much-anticipated joy for most children. They look forward to no homework, time at the pool or beach, and days spent playing outside with their friends.
But for the 20 percent of our nation’s children who face hunger every single day, summer is difficult. Many of these kids receive at least one hot meal a day at school, and two if their school offers a breakfast program as well. But no school means no guarantee of food every weekday.
This is one of many reasons The Salvation Army’s summer camps are so important. Not only do these day camps, Vacation Bible School programs, sleep-away camps, and other summer activities provide fun, learning and friendship, they also provide the assurance of daily meals. This helps ensure that all kids can revel in the joys of summer (and helps working parents breathe a sigh of relief as well!).
The Army’s array of summer camps for kids is part of our overall commitment to the youth of all ages who walk through our doors every day. We offer a safe haven to complete homework, play sports, learn music, gain new skills, be mentored and nurture talents. This commitment continues all year round, thanks in no small part to our faithful Bed and Bread Club partners.
Here’s a roundup of what we’re offering Chicagoland’s kids this summer:
The Salvation Army Corps Community Centers offer day camps at their facilities focusing on sports, arts and crafts, hobbies, music, scouting and more. Camps are offered at these Chicagoland locations: Freedom Center (West Humboldt Park), Joliet, Kroc Center (West Pullman), Mayfair, Norridge, Oakbrook and Batavia-Geneva-St. Charles.
The Salvation Army also offers weekly sleep-over camps during the summer. These camps focus on different hobbies (sports, high adventure, music, etc.), and are hosted at Wonderland Camp just over the Wisconsin border. Campers stay in log cabins, and enjoy their days in the sunshine and their evenings around the campfire.
Vacation Bible School
Vacation Bible School (VBS) walks children and young teens through the Bible, its significant stories and lessons, and how they relate to our lives today. Attendees also take part in crafts and other activities. Vacation Bible School is available in these Chicago-area neighborhoods: Blue Island, Chicago Temple (West Loop), Cicero, DeKalb, Elgin, Evanston, Joliet, Mayfair, Midway (Garfield Park), Norridge, Oakbrook, Waukegan as well as East Chicago and Hammond-Munster, Indiana.
The Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center offers swimming and diving lessons in their indoor aquatic center. The certified courses teach fundamental water safety skills and a variety of swim strokes, and are open to all ages. Visit the Kroc Center for more information.
Celebrate Launch and Landing
This weekly program, offered at Red Shield Center, is designed to support teams and families in one of Chicago’s most dangerous neighborhoods – Englewood. The program provides one-on-one support, mentoring, and helps participants work through grief, learn to develop stable relationships, and access additional Salvation Army resources.
Every kid deserves daily meals as well as fun this summer.
We couldn’t provide these wonderful summer programs without our Bed and Bread Club members. Their help provides crucial services and enriching summer programs to kids in need.
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