A kids camp at WildPlay had them participate in several activities and engage with each other. (The Salvation Army Ridge Meadows/Special to The News)

A kids camp at WildPlay had them participate in several activities and engage with each other. (The Salvation Army Ridge Meadows/Special to The News)

Ridge Meadows Salvation Army hosts mini camps instead of their annual camp

Organization brings back a version of camp after a two-year gap due to COVID

Salvation Army Ridge Meadows is hosting mini-camps this year for kids in the community, in lieu of their annual week-long summer camp.

A free-of-cost, week-long camp for kids in the community is made possible every year through the organization. However, due to COVID, there were no camps in the last two years, explained Amelia Norrie, the fundraising coordinator with the organization.

“Traditionally the Salvation Army Ridge Meadows sends close to 70 kids to a week at summer camp at The Salvation Army’s Camp Sunrise on the Sunshine Coast. Our camping programs have been put on hold the last two years because of COVID-19 restrictions, but this year we decided to reengage our campers ages 8-12 through two smaller, locally run day-camps,” she said.

On Aug. 12, the organization hosted 18 kids at WildPlay Element Park in Maple Ridge.

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“The kids had an amazing time challenging their fears on the high ropes courses there,” said Norrie.

The program was completely free of charge to the kids and their families, and supported by donations from the community and community donors such as Canadian Tire, Wyant Craig PREC, and the Mt. Lebanon Society.

The organization is hosting another camp on Aug. 25 at the Maple Ridge Park. This will be a full day camp from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will be lead by the organization’s community and family services’ summer student along with other local youth leaders, with support from the community services team. The campers participating in this program can expect arts and crafts, and water sports.

“These camps serve as an opportunity for kids who would never normally have the chance, to experience a week at camp – eating smores, canoeing, swimming – and just generally being a kid, without the hardships they may be experiencing at home,” Norrie said.

Not only are the camps free to attend, but they also include lunch and all activities.

“Our camping program is near and dear to our hearts, as we realize that a good number of kids in our communities don’t have the opportunity to experience summer ‘just being a kid’. Camp gives these kids a chance to swim, canoe, craft and have fun, leaving all the worries behind that they may experience in the summer at home,” she said.

The Salvation Army Ridge Meadows is now hoping to be able to host the kids at Camp Sunrise next summer.

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A kids camp at WildPlay had them participate in several activities and engage with each other. (The Salvation Army Ridge Meadows/Special to The News)