Midlands kids find summer salvation in rural North Carolina

Nearly 50 kids from Columbia attended the Salvation Army camp

DENTON, N.C. (WOLO) —The Salvation Army is giving kids from the Midlands an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.

At Camp Walter Johnson, located in the foothills of rural North Carolina, several kids are finding new ways to have fun 200 miles away from home.

“A lot of these kids don’t get out of Columbia, so to be able to come out here to a camp, and get the woods and scenery and nature, they don’t normally get that all the time, so this is a very good experience for them and we enjoy giving them that experience,” said Major Henry Morris, the Commanding Officer of the Salvation Army Midlands.

With so many options to choose from, camp staff say they want these kids to have a summer they’ll never forget. 

“There’s really fun to be had here, so they go to the pool, they go boating, they go in canoes and kayaks, so it’s a really good opportunity for them to experience they probably have at home,” said Captain Lacy Parrish, a Divisional Youth Leader who is one of the leaders of the camp.

Nearly 50 of the 300 kids in camp this week hail from the Midlands. 

Campers say they enjoy their time in a change of scenery.

“At school, I stay to myself but camp brings the normal self out of you and brings you to talk to other people,” said Jayqwane Wiggins of Columbia.

Others say it’s fun to see new faces and familiar friends year after year.

“When we get to be away from our families, we get to have fun with our friends,” said Cherrish Whetstone of Columbia.

At the end of the day, leaders of the Salvation Army say they want kids to embrace they lessons they learned once they head back to Columbia.

“They get an opportunity to grow and to learn how to carry themselves, to learn how to treat themselves, and those things you don’t just get anywhere, so being able to come here and do that, they can learn to look out for one another, and embrace each other with love. That’s what it’s all about,” Maj. Morris said.

Salvation Army Midlands say this year’s crop of campers is the most they have to sent to North Carolina in one week.

Categories: Local News, News