Every summer many moms and dads look forward – with a mix of joy and trepidation – to the week they get to spend kid-free while their little ones are at sleep-away camp.
For many kids, camp is a part of growing up: an opportunity to leave the safety of home and family to strike out on their own to meet new people and have new experiences. Generations of Americans have done it and received life-long memories in the bargain.
But for some kids, camp is vacation from neighborhood bullies and gangs, benign (or not-so-benign) neglect, the sound of gunshots and sirens. and the struggle to get three meals a day. That is, if they can get to camp at all.
If they do, it’s often the first time some have ever gotten to leave the inner city neighborhood they call home. It’s hard to imagine, but many will see a mountain stream, a squirrel, or a pine cone for the first time in their lives.
These same kids get to experience summer camp because someone like you made a financial gift to make it happen.
Do gooders like you donate to send some body else’s kids to camp.
–Kids in the foster care system who are still waiting for someone they can call mom or dad.
–Kids from your neighborhood whose moms and dads often have to choose between paying bills or putting food on the table.
–Kids in witness protection who are forced to embrace a new identity and a new name.
–Kids whose mom or dad is deployed overseas, serving in the US military.
But when their week at camp is over and they unpack their duffel bags, they’ll find memories of things like toasted marshmallows, conquering their fear on the rope course, or a cool dip in the lake on a warm afternoon.
They’ll also find a self-confidence they didn’t know they had and friends with shared experiences that we hope will last a lifetime.
But mostly, they’ll bring home love – the deep and abiding love of a God that knows what they’re facing and cares about every detail. A God who will walk beside them for the rest of their lives.
Thank You for being the kind of person who wants to give every kid a chance to experience the life-changing things camp has to offer.
History of Salvation Army Summer Camp
Today’s camps had their beginnings in the early 1890s. Like all of The Salvation Army’s efforts, the camping program began in an attempt to improve the quality of life for families, especially those living in the ugly, squalid inner cities. In those days, The Salvation Army would take needy mothers and children on “fresh air” outings, traveling by train or trolley for a day-trip to the country. It provided struggling families with a much-needed break from the hot, crowded city. Records from 1913 indicate that — in a single summer — nearly 50,000 mothers and children enjoyed a day in the fresh air.
Then, as now, The Salvation Army recognized that children’s experiences and relationships can have a profound effect on their futures. Camp provided a perfect
opportunity to make a long-lasting and positive impact. By teaching the Gospel to youngsters — and at the same time introducing them to the beauty of the countryside that was so different from the rat-infested tenements they called home — camp opened needy children’s eyes, minds and hearts to a whole new future of endless possibilities.
Early on, The Salvation Army acquired property so they could better assist the growing number of underprivileged kids. In 1903, they bought a farm in Spring Valley, New York, complete with orchards and a lake, to provide a summer retreat for ailing children and their mothers. Their efforts expanded in the early 1920s, with the development of camps outside Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia.
In the beginning, accommodations were simple: Records from one camp in 1923 indicate that the children slept in tents and used the barn for meals, rainy
day gatherings and a meeting place. During the 50s and 60s, camps were modernized, with cabins, cots and indoor plumbing. Activities included sports, hiking, Bible studies, singing, storytelling and more.
For many youngsters — who had never been out of the city — it was the first time they had ever seen wildflowers, held a turtle or had enough to eat.
Time changes everything, of course, and over the years there have been many improvements. While every camp is different, the range of activities offered was expanded to include tennis, basketball, soccer, boating and more — as well as the traditional activities like Bible studies and arts and crafts. Some camps offer ropes courses to teach boys and girls confidence, trust and teamwork, while others have special “theme” programs, such as “Sports Week” and “Canoeing Week.” There are also camps for children with special needs.
But no matter how much some things change, one thing stays the same: For more than a hundred years, summer camp has helped underprivileged youngsters all over the country experience new opportunities . . . and open their eyes to a future filled with promise.
Purpose of Summer Day Camp
Our summer camp program was designed so families would not be strained financially to afford childcare over the summer. At less than half of the cost of most programs in Melbourne and Palm Bay, our summer day camp offers families an affordable way to send their kids to camp. The cost of camp includes field trips, supplies, two snacks a day, transportation and lunch. During the nine weeks, campers will splash at the pool, zoom around Galaxy Skateway, bowl at Harbor Lanes and take day trips based on the theme for the week. One theme campers will experience this year is gardening. They will learn how to plant flowers and tomatoes and visit the local blueberry patch in Mims, where they can pick a pound of fresh blueberries. Many of the past campers had never picked their own food . . . and a few of them had never even eaten a blueberry.
Thanks to our generous sponsors, our campers will be able to explore local hidden treasures, learn new and exciting things and make new friends and memories they will never forget. Without support from people like you, these things would not be possible.
The Salvation Army is a church and as such, will run a Christian based program. We believe that this will provide a well rounded experience for each child in our camp program. During summer day camp Vacation Bible School will be held for part of the day for one week out of the summer. Each Summer Day Camper will attend Vacation Bible School in the mornings during that week at no additional cost.
Children ages 5-10 are welcome. This means that your child(ren) has to be 5 years old before the first day of camp. If you child will turn 5 during summer camp then he/she will be eligible next year. It also means that your child must be 10 years old on the first day of camp. If you child will turn 11 before the first day of camp then he/she will not be eligible for signup. Back to the top.
Summer day camp runs 9 weeks over the summer vacation. Dates for 2017 will be June 5th and ends August 4th. Closed July 4th in observance of Independence Day. Back to the top.
8:00A.M-5:00P.M. Monday-Friday. Back to the top.
There are 25 slots available for the Summer Day Camp program. These will be filled on a first come first serve basis. Once the program is filled, a waiting list will be kept for those desiring to wait for the first available slot. There is a $25.00 registration fee that will be charged for each child to cover expenses for camp t-shirts. Registration will start at the Kickoff Event on Saturday, May 8th and end when space is filled. Back to the top.
All parents must attend our Summer Day Camp orientation and walk through of the facilities on a date that has yet to be determined. It will give you an opportunity to see what goes on daily, where classrooms are located, and a chance to meet our staff. Back to the top.
$65.00 per week for each child. The program fee covers our staffing and program costs including most field trips, two snacks daily, and lunch. Payment must be made by cash, check, or money order. A written receipt will always be given at the time of payment. This ensures that both you and the summer program have a written record of your payments. Upon request you may receive a confirmation letter of your total payments for day camp.
The first payment will be required at Orientation. TBA. Please keep your receipts if needed for the IRS. Back to the top.
Important: All registration and program fees are nonrefundable. The dates of payment are subject to change.
A late fee, for picking children up after 5:00P.M., will be assessed for each child. $1.00 per minute per child will be enforced. Late fees must be paid before your child is allowed back at camp.
There will be a $20.00 insufficient funds fee for any check that is returned in addition to the amount of the check. Returned checks and all other future payments must be paid with cash or money order. Back to the top.
If your child will miss camp please provide a courtesy call to our office letting us know. Please do not bring sick children to camp. Any child with a fever, diarrhea, vomiting, or head lice will be sent home and asked not to return until symptoms are gone or a doctor’s note is provided. Back to the top.
Please do not drop your child off before 8:00A.M.. You are required to sign your child into day camp each day. Weekly and daily schedules will be posted along with any important reminders. Under no condition will there be drop offs at any location other than our drop-off location inside the fellowship hall building. This includes field trip locations. You will have to make other arrangements if your child(ren) is not checked in on time. Back to the top.
Any person picking up your child(ren) must be listed on file and must have a photo ID with them at all times. You are required to come into the building to sign your chid(ren) out of the program each day. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience; however, your child(ren)’s safety is the absolute most important concern. Please remember there is a late fee for every minute that you are late picking up your child(ren). Back to the top.
Meals and Snacks
We will provide your child(ren) two snacks daily along with a nutritious lunch. If your child(ren) has severe allergies or medical conditions requiring a special diet, you should provide two snacks and a lunch for your child(ren) daily. Back to the top.
Camp Discipline Policy
Positive reinforcement will be used on a constant basis. Good behavior will be recognized and encouraged. A complete behavioral contract will be completed by both you and your child(ren). There is a strict no fighting policy.
Fighting-Contact Made: 1st incident: Child will be picked up for the day of incident and will be suspended for the next day. 2nd incident: Suspension for one week. 3rd incident: Removal from program.
Fighting-No Contact Made: 1st incident: Removal from activity. 2nd incident: Child will be picked up for the day of incident and will be suspended for the next day. 3rd incident: One week suspension. 4th incident: Removal from program.
Disrespectful or Disruptive Behavior: 1st incident: Counsel child. 2nd incident: Time out from activity. 3rd incident: Child will be picked up for the day of incident and will be suspended for the next day. 4th incident: One week suspension. 5th incident: Removal from program.
Please remember that there are NO refunds for suspension or terminations.