For the neediest children in Oklahoma County, the simple joys of a childhood summer may seem unattainable. These at-risk kids will spend their summer wandering the streets or hanging out with other idle kids… a recipe for trouble.
But The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Area Command helps struggling local families avoid such an outcome for their children as The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma’s Boys & Girls Club summer day camp is in full swing.
The summer day camp, held from 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Boys and Girls Club, 2808 SE 44th, runs through July 27. Already, more than 100 youth attend the club every day for activities like sports, outdoor recreation, computer lab, arts and crafts, reading, games and sports league practice.
Once a week, the youth also go to Eagle Harbor swimming pool and the Oklahoma City Boathouse, where they play on the playground and skate while the teens explore kayaking and canoeing.
“We are excited because we had full enrollment by May of this year for our summer camp,” said Megan Brown-Ellis, director of The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma Boys & Girls Club. “We have more than 80 children ages 6 to 11 years old as well as two teen programs, Club Teen and Junior Staff.”
Several other special events are slated for the June summer camp. These include:
- June 6 – Tobacco Prevention Program from the Oklahoma City-County Health Department in the morning
- June 8 – Health Fair with Oklahoma City Health and Wellness in the afternoon
- June 11 – 15: Vacation Bible School through Child Evangelism Fellowship
- June 19 – New View Blindness Awareness designed to show children what it’s like to be blind and how to assist blind Americans through hands-on activities.
- June 20 – 22: OKC Barons Hockey camp all day at the Club
- June 26 – 27: Girl Scouts from 10 to 11 a.m.
“Many of our children at camp are at-risk and qualify for free and reduced lunches. We have a much higher percentage of foster kids and single parent children attending our camp,” said Brown-Ellis. “Most of our parents are working parents, so The Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club serves as a safe, educational and fun place for their children during the summer.”
In July, The Salvation Army Central Oklahoma will also offer a week-long residential camp at Camp Heart O’Hills in Tahlequah, a traditional outdoors summer camp. The camp is free to all enrolled.
Thanks to a partnership with The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma, all camp attendees are provided breakfast, lunch and an afternoon snack at the day camp.
For more information about The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club, contact Megan Brown-Ellis at 405-677-4781.