Salvation Army Program Helps Kids’ Bodies & Minds

For mother-of-two Alma Patterson, summer camp should do one thing above all else: keep her girls’ minds occupied.

The oldest, 8-year-old Jamiyah House, began the summer enrichment program at the Utica Salvation Army last year, and was later followed by her younger sister, Daijah Starkey, 5.

This year, the theme was “Breaking Free,” and Patterson said the Salvation Army’s devotion to the kids was impressive.

“They do a lot for the kids. For two years, my kids have gone. They just come get them; they do a lot of different activities with them. Their minds are occupied,” Patterson said. “They go to camp, go swimming. They were singing in a choir and everything.” The Salvation Army is affiliated with Operation Sunshine, a charity that helps families provide their children with the experience of summer camp.

Jamiyah said that the summer program kept her very busy: “I was swimming, hiking and playing games, hanging by the campfire and eating s’mores and really having fun.”

Patterson said that aside from the activities and Bible studies, the program also is teaching them something that all kids need to learn while still growing up.
“They teach them respect,” she said.

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