By Tim Leeds
School is out for the summer, but children are still learning and having organized recreation at The Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army day camp began on June 5 this year, and runs through August 18.
Lt. Will Ware said they are trying to provide a service to the community with the day camp. He said there is a great need for inexpensive daycare in Havre over the summer, which is why they provide the camp.
The camp costs $35 a week for one child, $50 for two, $60 for three, $75 for four and $80 for more than four. It runs 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Children ages six through 12 are eligible, although older and younger children can be accepted under special circumstances.
Ware said the camp is set up with the children in mind. He said they provide children with something to do, good meals, structure, moral care and guidance. He said it also provides an option so working parents don't have to leave their children at home alone while they are at work.
A stated objective of the program is to give children a fun-filled, healthy, educational and inspirational break from every day summer life, involving activities which stress cooperation, compassion and respect for other people, their property and places and an individual's unique personality.
The days at the camp are planned out in advance. The children have arts and crafts from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. every morning, followed by moral lessons, with snacks, from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. There is free time and lunch between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. At 1 p.m. there is a field trip or organized activity at the camp.
Lt. Christy Ware said the weeks are planned with a theme in mind, such as athletic week, city government week, under the sea week and nature's wonders week. The field trips and activities are planned with the theme in mind.
She said they have an especially good arts and crafts program this year. She said projects they have done include making a huge dinosaur in the back yard, about five feet tall and 10 or 12 feet long, and building a town out of milk boxes and cardboard.
Will said they are happy to have, once again, more than qualified counselors at the camp. Christy is the director, and Melissa Fink, Heather VanDessel and Julie Stevens are the counselors. Family Services checks on the staff that works with the children at the camp. The facilities are also inspected by the sanitarian and fire marshal to make sure they comply with codes and regulations. Family Services also inspects the facilities to make sure they are safe for the children.
Will said the current program has been going for at least seven or eight years, and has gone on considerably longer with some breaks in the program. He said many Salvation Army Corps provide camps like the Havre Corps does, although not all do.
He said a major concern for the camp is that financial donations have dropped some recently. He said they are still receiving a good portion of supplies for the camp, but the financial giving has not been as good in recent years as in the past.
He said this is a concern because the only way they are able to put on the low-cost camp is through the financial support of businesses and individuals in the community. He said the donations allow them to keep the camp inexpensive.
Will said there could be difficulty maintaining the camp in its present form if donations do not pick up in the future.
For more information about the day camp, contact the Havre Salvation Army at 605 Second St., 265-6411.