Salvation Army hosts summer day camp

Domonique Rosario of Johnstown reviews activity ideas for children at the Salvation Army Educational Center on Spring Street Tuesday. (The Leader-Herald/Kerry Minor)

GLOVERSVILLE — Children in Fulton County will have a place to go this summer to have some fun.

The Salvation Army of Fulton County will be holding a summer day camp for children entering kindergarten up through sixth grade for the second year in a row for five weeks starting on July 10.

Salvation Army Lt. Ann Marie Devanney said that she expects roughly 40 children to attend the camp this year. From Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. children will be able to practice their reading skills, do science experiments, work on crafts and have Bible lessons.

This is not just babysitting, it is focused on keeping kids skills sharp between the end of the school year and start of a new one, Devanney said.

“It’s serving the whole child. It is a holistic enrichment program,” Devanney said.

There is no income requirement for the program. Those parents who use the program and wish to make a donation, are welcome. It is open to anyone in Fulton County, so long as they can get to the center at 3 Spring St.

Devanney said the Salvation Army works with other community agencies to put on the day camp.

“It is these groups coming together as a community,” Devanney said.

The program will provide breakfast and lunch for attending children thanks to the Gloversville Enlarged School District. Starting in the summer of 2016, the Salvation Army became an aggregate meal site for the district’s summer meals program.

The site is a closed meal site this year, meaning that only children in the day camp can go.

“It’s a great relationship to be able to serve the kids that come through our doors this summer and give them two solid meals a day for five weeks,” she said.

Free breakfast and lunch will still be available to children 18 and under in the Gloversville Enlarged School District.

Groups such as Family Counseling Center refer families to the day camp as a safe place for their kids for the summer.

This year, the Salvation Army will again work with Fulton, Montgomery and Schoharie Counties Workforce Solutions through a program that sees teenagers get summer employment.

Four older teens from Johnstown, Mayfield and Northville will be helping out with the program. The teens have already been working at the site, getting together necessary supplies into ready to grab bins, planning activities and lessons for the children.

“It is a great program and it worked really well last year,” Devanney said. “They’re getting work experience and we benefit because they provide our staffing.”

Devanney said these types of partnerships ensure that the Army can provide the day camp free of charge to the community.

“Between those two relationships alone, we’re being provided with necessary items for the summer day camp at no expense to the Salvation Army. Two meals a day and four counselors,” she said.

Devanney said herself and her husband, Lt. Mark Devanney, see this camp as a way to reach out to children and give them a fun summer of experiences.

“It has been a real privileged to provide this for the community.

The Salvation Army is currently seeking community members to come in and read to children before lunch time. She said the idea is to have people around the community including workers for various businesses, volunteer agencies and municipal services come and explain who they are and why they have decided to make a home in Fulton County.

Called “You are What You Read,” members will share who they are and show kids model citizens. Participants are asked to bring two of their favorite children’s books that they had read to them as a child or read to their own kids.

“It’s exposing the kids to a number of different children’s books. It’s exposing the kids to people in the community they might not otherwise meet,” Devanney said. “What’s nice to is members of the community are welcomed into our doors that might not otherwise see what we’re doing here.”

The Salvation Army’s day camp is making plans to travel across the Capital Region and Mohawk Valley for field trips. Devanney said she is working with the Utica Zoo, Via Aquarium in Schenectady and Pine Lake.

This summer for the first time, The Salvation Army will be able to offer 24 children the chance to go to summer camp at a Salvation Army certified sleep-away camp at Seneca Lake.

Most of the space have been filled, but Devanney said parents and caregivers interested in the program can still apply, since more spaces could open up. She said in addition, families who apply and don’t get a spot can get one next year.

She said that the Fulton County chapter has held off on sending children until the community had more experience working with the Devanneys.

The Salvation Army of Fulton County recently had a caseworker start with them who will be covering both Fulton and Montgomery counties.

Through this cooperation with Montgomery County, there will also be an opportunity to send campers to sleep away camp at Long Point Camp from Montgomery County.

Interested persons can contact Laura Winslow at our office (518) 725-4119. The children able to go would have to be 6 to 12 years of age and reside in Montgomery County.

The Army is also planning events for adults this year.

Every Sunday, July 9 through Aug. 20, an outdoor worship service will be held at Trail Station Park gazebo at 10 a.m. Service will be held indoors during incitement weather at the Army’s office at 10 Spring St. A children’s meeting will be held at the park’s pavilion.

“It’s a way to get into the community, so instead of always expecting people to come to us, we are meeting on neutral ground,” she said.

Devanney said the idea behind the outdoor service was to allow people to be feed spiritually and meet with God and a more comfortable place for some.

For more information on these programs, call the Salvation Army at (518) 725-4119.

To apply for Long Point Camp go to:

Kerry Minor can be reached at [email protected]

By Patricia Older

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