Salvation Army offers music day camp

Published 6:22 am Monday, April 19, 2010

Kids who are growing weary from a long school year and are eager to get out in the sun will soon breathe the sweet relief of summer vacation.

Parents who want their children to have outdoor fun — but not forget their studies — this summer can look to the Salvation Army, which hosts its eight-week active, learning camp again this year.

The Salvation Army Music Day Camp takes place during the day Monday through Friday from June 21 to Aug. 13, and includes academic, outdoor, and Bible programs, said Kim Hallman, volunteer and special events coordinator with the Salvation Army.

“This isn’t your average camp or childcare program,” Hallman said.

Campers, ages 5 to 12, will take weekly field trips and weekly trips to the pool, partake in crafts and exercise, as well as full-fledge music, drama and reading programs, she explained.

Students will practice singing and playing instruments each day to prepare for an end-of-camp musical performance for parents, Hallman said.

The reading program, new last year, includes a beginning and end of year assessment and is nationally accredited, Hallman added.

Last year, she said, 70 percent of campers showed reading progression by the end of the summer.

“But it doesn’t feel like school,” Hallman added. “It’s a lot of play, but they do spend some time reading everyday just to keep at it when school is out.”

New this year are elective options so students can choose some of their own activities, such as cooking, dancing or bike riding.

Field trips that have already been scheduled include the Reptile & Amphibian Discovery Zoo in Owatonna; the State School Orphanage Museum in Owatonna; and a water park in Owatonna.

Campers are fed breakfast, lunch and snacks each day through the Department of Education’s summer food service program.

Most camp counselors are musicians and college students. Teenagers can apply to be volunteer junior counselors by contacting the Salvation Army.

Camp is $25 a week for one child; $15 for the second and third child. Campers paid in full by the first week of camp receive discounted rates. There is a family registration fee of $25 before May 1, and $50 after May 1.

All field trips are included in the costs. The Hormel Foundation assists the Salvation Army to keep tuition low, Hallman said.

“We have a lot of kids that return every year, and it is an intensive learning program,” Hallman said. “But its full of activities, outdoor things — and there’s no homework.”

To sponsor a child or register your own child for The Salvation Army Music Camp, contact 437-4566 or go to 409 First Ave. NE.