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Healthy, hearty meals, bible lessons, canoeing, tight ropes and campfires. That’s what over 2,500 children will experience at Salvation Army camps this year.
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By Shannon Wise |

Executive Director for Ontario Camping Ministries, Captain Rick Zelinsky attended Salvation Army camps as a child. He says if kids are looking for a fun, well-rounded summer camp experience, this is it.

“Camp gives them freedom to be a kid,” says Captain Zelinsky. “It’s a great opportunity to meet friends―there’s immediate comradery. It’s a friendship that moves beyond the borders of our camp property.”

Eleven-year-old Sebastian Atkins, will be attending a Salvation Army camp for a third consecutive year.

The ultimate goal of camp is to give kids the tools to succeed in life–courage, empathy, positive attitude and how to be part of a team, which Sebastian has really come to enjoy. Sebastian says The Salvation Army camp has given him more self-confidence, responsibility, knowledge of God and music. He loves to play the cornet and ball hockey, but archery is where he really shines.

“Camp leaders listen to you and answer your questions,” says Sebastian. “They’re happy, make me laugh and cheer me on.”

One of the areas Sebastian has become more comfortable with is performing. In the evenings, skits are acted out and there’s even stand-up comedy.

“I feel comfortable going on stage in front of everyone,” says Sebastian.

The camp operates with lots of empathy. There are over 150 staff–several who have attended a Salvation Army camp at a young age. Many feel that it’s an opportunity to influence the lives of children and youth, for good.

“I hope kids leave camp with the understanding that God loves them and there is a purpose for their life, added Captain Zelinsky. “It’s about modelling what Jesus taught us; to love our neighbours. It’s one small part of the program. Salvation Army Camp is another aspect of strengthening families–a place of retreat and respite for the kids.”

The Salvation Army is currently operating two camps in Ontario.

Jackson’s Point is designed for ages six to nine, while Hunstville is structured for ages ten to fifteen. This year camp dates run from July 2 though to August 26, 2017.

For more information visit: