The obstacle course. “There’s a zip-line and a rock wall. There’s three different levels that you climb and different types of obstacles to go across. And on the second level there’s a swing—you swing off and you’re just swinging back and forth in the air and it feels so good! It’s so fun.”
Meet Haylie, a 15-year-old camper in the Creative Arts Conservatory program at The Salvation Army’s Camp Hidden Lake. Haylie has learned valuable life skills at camp, in addition to in-depth artistic training and summer fun.
“Last year, I learned forgiveness at camp,” Haylie said. “Because of that, camp really changed my life,” she continued. Haylie was carrying a lot of resentment toward her mother and father, whom she and her brothers no longer live with. Haylie resented them for not being good parents. “Being at camp gave me a chance to get away from it and just see the world from my own point of view,” she said. This year, Haylie has been learning how to quietly gather her thoughts and reflect on the day each night before bed. “It just gives me a chance to break down what happened throughout the day,” she said. Haylie likes to see how the previous day’s events can benefit her tomorrow. “It’s a great life skill,” she added.
Being in the Creative Arts Conservatory at Camp Hidden Lake has also given Haylie a lot of confidence. Because of Creative Arts and The Salvation Army, she now does a lot of performing and is learning how to speak in front of people without getting nervous. “And just speaking to people in general, I have so much confidence and I can speak louder and pronounce my words better. It’s a really great communication skill,” Haylie said.
“I think that camp is just a great way for kids who don’t have the best home life to get away—even if just for a week, or like Conservatory for a month—where you can just have fun and not have to think about if you’re struggling at home or if you don’t get to eat. Camp teaches you ways to deal with your emotions and how to handle yourself, even in tough situations,” Haylie said.