Salvation Army looking for camp sponsors

Published 8:14 pm Friday, June 3, 2016

Many underprivileged children don’t get to enjoy the same experiences that others do — experiences such as swimming and archery. The Salvation Army of Washington is making efforts to change that this summer by asking the community for support.

The Salvation Army plans to send underprivileged children to the Christian-based Camp Walter Johnson this summer. The organization is asking area residents to help in the mission by sponsoring children, according to Lt. Bruce Rabon, who along with his wife, Lt. Goldie Rabon, heads up the Salvation Army of Washington.

Lt. Bruce Rabon said the opportunity to attend summer camp gives children a structured week during the summer they might not normally have. The weeklong camp is filled with activities such as swimming, fishing, archery, range shooting with BB guns and other fun activities.

During camp, participants are also taught life lessons, according to Amanda Reagan, human resources specialist with Salvation Army.

“It gives a lot of kids the opportunity to be off the streets for that week and go somewhere that is structured and Christian-based,” Rabon said. “It’s an opportunity they might not have normally. It’s also an opportunity to get out the environment they’re used to and see there is something else out there. For a lot of kids in the community, if they’re not in a church or somewhere like that, they’re really not shown any love. In many cases, they come from split homes, and they get to go to that Christian environment and know there are people that really love them and care about them. It’s just a great opportunity all the way around to experience something they might not normally be able to experience and give them a different outlook.”

Rabon said the camp is available for several weeks throughout the summer, each one lasting for one week and divided by age groups.

It costs $200 to attend the camp, which doesn’t include the cost of getting the children to the camp, according to Rabon. Any kind of monetary donation from those who would like to support the mission is appreciated, but donors can choose to sponsor half the cost of one child going, the cost of a child’s week at camp or the cost of multiple children attending, he said.

Children are selected based on interest, and the organization also reaches out to the Department of Social Services to send foster children, as well, according to Rabon.

“It’s well worth it,” he said.

Since 1974, the camp, located in Denton, has impacted the lives of more than 55,000 children in North and South Carolina. It offers one-week camping sessions for children ages 6-17 and a five-week Music Conservatory program for children ages 10-17, according to the website. For more information, contact the Salvation Army of Washington at 252-946-2523 or visit