The Salvation Army’s Camp-in-a-Bag Brings Fun to Families at Home

Major Karen Hoeft stands with camp in a bag articles
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While the pandemic has put an end to traditional camping programs this year, parents are trying to fill the empty days and organize fun activities for their young ones. This task can be challenging when your family has faced poverty and difficult circumstances.

For the first time in more than 120 years of providing summer-camp opportunities, The Salvation Army has had to cancel residential camping programs to keep staff members, children and their families safe from COVID-19.

”We needed to find new ways to connect“

”We needed to find new ways to connect“ says Major Karen Hoeft of Edmonton. ”Camp-in-a-bag helps create a sense of family, community, and strengthens the family unit.”

While children, teens, and “moms and tots” have been unable to attend The Salvation Army’s Pine Lake Camp,camp-in-a-bag has brought families fun in the form of a camp day—right at home.

“Children were disappointed when we had to tell families that camps would be closed for the season,” says Major Karen. “Since April, we have been putting together activity bags and recently sent out our camp-in-a-bag to more than 110 children. This was the sixth delivery!”

Major Karen and her team deliver activity bags to children and youth ages four months to 17 years old roughly every three-weeks. First, they email families asking if they want a kit, then they plan the activities, pack the bags and safely deliver them.

”Thank you so much for the camp-in-a-bag,” says one parent. ”It brought tears to my eyes.”

”Thank you for the effort you put in for all the families!”

”The package was delivered,” says another parent. ”Thank you for the effort you put in for all the families!”

The camp-in-a-bag includes craft activities, a pancake breakfast, pasta lunch and tuna with vegetables for dinner. By supplying resources, all parents, including many single mothers, can provide these easy, fun and creative activities with little preparation.

“Through month-by-month communication with families and doorstep deliveries, The Salvation Army has built an even stronger bond with those we serve,” concludes Major Karen.

By Sharifa Campbell-Hogg