Peace of Mind for Parents, Fun in the Sun for Kids

Jul 14, 2021

When school lets out for summer break, many working parents look for creative ways to ensure their kids stay safe while having fun during the weeks away from the classroom. The Salvation Army’s day and overnight summer camps are an affordable solution, offering plenty of opportunities for socialization, engagement and education in supervised settings, as well as the experience of enjoying the great outdoors.  

“The Sal” Summer Camp at North Corps
North Corps Education Director Cherrilyn Loftin is determined that the kids enrolled in summer day camp have a great time, especially on the heels of such a challenging year. “I’m not dwelling on what’s happened over the last year,” said Loftin. “The theme this year is ‘greatness,’ so my goal is to encourage us to bounce back and move forward.”

Loftin has dozens of fun, engaging activities planned for the 30 kids, ages 7-12, who are enrolled in summer day camp at The Sal. From gardening, cooking, yoga, baseball and picnics to experiencing virtual reality at a local company and enjoying field trips to the Durham Museum and the Omaha Children’s Museum, the days are full.

Camp Kroc
Now that pandemic restrictions have eased, the Kroc Center has doubled the number of kids enrolled in Camp Kroc this summer. Each week through Aug. 13, approximately 80 kids between the ages of 6 and 13 are enjoying arts and crafts, games and sports, time in the pool, field trips to the Omaha Zoo, Fontenelle Forest and other local attractions and socializing with their friends.

The Kroc Center has also hired two certified teachers to assist with math, reading and STEM programming, ensuring kids can keep their skills sharp or get some extra tutoring, even while they are out of the classroom for the summer.

“We are thrilled to be able to have a much more normal camp experience this summer,” said Kroc Center Arts and Education Director Kevin Boesiger. “These halls aren’t meant to be quiet. I’m really glad to hear the kids’ voices and laughter again.”

The Salvation Army Western Plains Camp
Nestled into the woods near South Sioux City, The Salvation Army Western Plains Camp is a dream come true for kids ages 6-18, many of whom don’t often get the opportunity to experience the beauty and adventure of the great outdoors. From fishing, canoeing, swimming and hiking to arts and crafts, campfires and cozy, rustic cabins, the Western Plains Camp offers the quintessential overnight camp experience.

Last summer, camp enrollment was extremely limited due to the necessary COVID-19 precautions. This summer offers campers the first real opportunity to enjoy the camp since The Salvation Army Western Division purchased it in 2020, after Camp Gene Eppley was destroyed by flooding in 2019.

Cohorts of 30 campers at a time are coming from around Nebraska and Iowa to enjoy the camp experience this summer, many of them for the first time. 

“The kids are loving every bit of it – fishing, eating in the dining hall, tenting out, learning about constellations, snow cones and cotton candy from the Snack Shack, being outdoors together,” said Maj. Lee Ann Thompson. “It feels almost unbelievable, especially after this last year. It’s just magical.”


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Related Content: CampChildren / Youthempower youthKroc CenterKroc Community CenterNebraskaNorth Corps Community CenterOmahaOmaha North CorpsYouth Development

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