• Camp is back!

Camp is back in person for summer 2021! Things were different last year due to COVID-19, and summer camp was delivered to campers’ homes so that everyone could celebrate the joys of camping in the safest environment possible. Thankfully, The Salvation Army ALM Division can offer a traditional summer camp setting in 2021 so that kids can get to camp and spend time with peers. Campers will arrive at Camp Hidden Lake Monday, June 14, and three two-week sessions will run through July 24. Camp adventures will include swimming, archery, music electives, games, many more activities for kids to express themselves and form a community in the process.

A COVID-19 protocol is in place. Masks and social distancing will be required where feasible. All campers and staff participate in a prescreening so that everyone is in a safe and healthy bubble when they get to camp.

“For a year like what we just had, it’s vital for us to make this summer as normal as possible. Our music programs are starting up, our pool will be open, recreation facilities will be open, and they’ll start archery. There’ll be fishing, pathfinding, camping outside, building fires, smores; We’ve moved a lot of events outside this year as a COVID-19 safety precaution,” said Captain Michael Good, Divisional Youth Secretary.

“We’ve also planned daily evening events, sort of like they do on cruise ships, so there’s never a dull moment. Everything from Junk Yard Wars, Drive-in Movie, Battle Lip Sync, Culture Night, life-size game nights, messy games, and lots of other fun activities for the kids,” Captain Good added.

Favorite Part of Camp

Everyone in a leadership position at Camp Hidden Lake was once a camper. They all have established careers both with The Salvation Army and elsewhere and contribute time to summer camp each year.

“This year, I think my favorite part will be that these kids will be normal for the first time in a little while. Camp is a place where these kids can come and get three meals a day, snacks, and never have to think about what they’re going to eat. They know that no promise will be broken when something is promised at camp (fun programs, recreation, etc.). A lot of our kids receive a lot of promises in life that never come true. For the time that they are here at camp, that’s not going to happen,” Captain Good shared.

“I get so excited that for the first time in many of their lives, especially after the year that we just had, these kids can just be kids. There comes the point at camp where you’re just standing there, maybe in the center of camp, and you hear the noises of camp. The splashing and yelling from the pool, or you hear the archery instructor saying “Pull!” and then arrows shooting, or you hear kids dribbling balls on the basketball court. You start to hear the sounds of camp, and you realize that, for that time, they’re safe, they’re happy, they’re full. That’s what matters. That’s what I’m really excited about.”

Camp Hidden Lake happens once a year, bringing peace and joy to children who often don’t get to just be a kid. For a few weeks out of the year, they are allowed to live in the moment and make friends in a safe and inviting environment. We believe every child should get to experience summer camp—exploring nature, learning new skills, developing confidence, and building life-long friendships in a fun and nurturing environment. We provide that experience for campers every summer at The Salvation Army’s Camp Hidden Lake, but we need your help. Camp Hidden Lake is funded through donations to make the summer camp experience available to all children. Visit SalArmyCamp.org to donate today!