The Salvation Army Lt. Gina Noble Corps Officer –
Last week 75 kids aged 8-16 from Ridgecrest and surrounding communities had a fantastic experience at The Salvation Army’s Camp Redwood Glen in the Santa Cruz Mountains. They were provided five-night lodging and ate three meals a day around a table, family style, and had many snacks. They took adventurous hikes in the redwood forest and down by the creek. The most popular activity at a summer camp for IWV kids is a few hours in the swimming pool every afternoon. They made lots of lanyards and other arts and crafts. Activities like archery, wrist rockets, paintball, and other sports on our athletic turf field delight the kids.
Afternoon rest time and encouraged reading for 30 minutes happen every afternoon in hammocks at our outdoor library. The American Flag is raised and lowered every day with the pledge of allegiance and prayer at the flagpole. The fun days end with evening campfires, camp staff skits, a devotion, and the singing of Taps. The theme of this year’s camp was The Greatest Show On Earth – Come One, Come All. Chapel & Bible learning times were developed with a circus-big-top vibe for kids each day, allowing them to consider and develop their spirituality and faith fun and excitingly.
Our teenagers took a day hike through Big Basin Redwoods State Park and saw the regrowth of the majestic redwoods after 90% of California’s oldest state park was devasted by lightning strikes and fire three years ago. They may have licked a banana slug or at least spent hours in the coastal fog. These are very new experiences for our desert dwellers.
Here are a few gratitude texts from families:
“It’s so awesome the community sent so many kids to camp. I love that there is a youth group through the Salvation Army here and that our child can attend all the fun gatherings and do church and other God-centered stuff.”
– family of camper aged 12
“Thank you so much for giving my boys an amazing time!! My son, who didn’t believe in God, came home and immediately told me he believes now and wants to start going to church. God is great.”
– family of campers ages 13&14
“We appreciate you taking our five kids to camp. We, moms, needed a break. They came back so respectful and happy. They haven’t stopped singing camp songs or talking about all they got to do at camp. They are all signed up for your Courage Day Camp here in Ridgecrest at the end of July.”
– family of campers ages 8-11.
We want to thank all the generous individuals in this community who donated to our Campership Campaign to exceed our goal of $50K to send 100 kids to camp this summer. Please see the acknowledgment of all community organizations that faithfully supported summer camp.
Our next public fundraising campaign to support at-risk and under-served youth and the various food distribution programs we administer for families and seniors in need throughout the year is our Kettle Campaign from October 1st to December 31st.
We always welcome monetary donations (send to PO Box 189), and you can specify where you would like to see your contribution support your community. We are especially grateful for the bussing support from Sierra Sands Unified School District. Our next free event for youth ages 5-17 is our Courage Camp on July 28th-30th.
Please see the details and use the QR code to register Beyond Blest in Ridgecrest.