Salvation Army Brings Mobile Camp to Low-Income Neighbourhoods in Saint John

by Maritime
Categories: 2020, Blog
Share:

The Salvation Army in Saint John, N.B., has found a creative way to bring summer fun to underprivileged children in the midst of the pandemic – they’ve created a mobile camp.

“We knew we had to get creative this summer to make sure kids still got to experience camp,” says Major Tracy Goyak, community pastor. “We had received funding for a bus to transport kids to camp, so we utilized that to make this idea happen.”

With funding in-hand to buy supplies, they just needed transportation. So they enlisted their emergency disaster services vehicle so they could travel to low-income neighbourhoods throughout the city.

“We planned out five locations and advertised on social media that we would be coming. It was the first time we’ve done something like this but people seemed excited about the idea.”

When Tracy and her team were on route to the first location, they were unsure how many people would show up. To their surprise, more than 80 children and their families came out to take part. “We couldn’t believe it,” she says.

Once on-site, they set up markers and designated areas to ensure each family kept a safe distance from one another while taking part in the activities.

“Everyone was great with respecting social distancing and the safety precautions we put into place.”

The Mobile Day Camp day involved a wide-range of activities, such as music, dancing, story-time, painting and games, for more than two hours.

“We did many activities, but the favourite was the planting. Each child was given a small flower pot to paint and then planted a seed which they can take home and watch grow,” explains Tracy.

Each child was also given a camp T-shirt, water, freezies and a prepared meal to go.

“Even if we can’t send kids to camp this year, we can still bring camp to them. Every child deserves to have fun, even if it’s in their own backyard.”

The Salvation Army in Saint John will be running Mobile Summer Camp at three more locations throughout the summer. Learn more by visiting their Facebook page.

 

By: Angela Rafuse