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Day in the life: Salvation Army camp

26.03.20

7:00am: Rise & Shine

Counsellors are responsible for waking up a cabin full of sleepy campers. It is likely to take many attempts, but campers are often motivated by wanting to be the first to flag raising.

7:45am:  Flag Raising

The entire camp attends flag raising led by the ‘Officer of the Day’ who is responsible for raising the flag and encouraging the campers to have a good day. Once the flag is raised, the whole camp says the pledge of allegiance then the Officer of the Day prays for breakfast and dismiss a cabin at a time.

8:00am: Breakfast

Campers line-up outside the dining hall until breakfast is ready; food would include eggs, sausage patties, french toast sticks, biscuits and gravy, cereal, fruit, pancakes and much more. At each meal, someone starts snapping their fingers and a very musical prayer begins…. Everyone stops what they’re doing and joins in with the clapping and singing. We always finish with a grand finale of banging on the tables – it can get messy!! Once everyone is finished eating, each table cleans their area and gets ready for table inspection where a judge assesses the cleanliness of the tables, the quietness of campers and the creativity of the game or scene the table presents. The best girl and boy tables win a special trophy, coins and a little toy each.

9:00am: Bible Class

Other than on a Friday, where we have a Church service together, campers are separated into their age groups for Bible classes. Teachers try to make the Bible stories come to life by including arts & crafts, games, drama and verse memorisation competitions.

10:00am: Cabin Clean-Up

Everyday both campers and counsellors have time to clean their living spaces ready for the Head Counsellor to score the rooms! The best cabin wins a prize - everyone wants to win, and no counsellor wants to let their campers down!

10:30am: Elective/Track

Each week is slightly different with some weeks being generic camps and others having a specific theme. With themed weeks, track sessions teach skills like survival skills, sports or musical instruments. On more generic camps, campers take part in a pre-selected elective: archery, challenge course, rock wall, arts & crafts, fusion drumline or dance where they learn a new skill or build upon their existing skills.

12pm: Lunch

Campers race to be first in the lunch queue to get food like pizza, sandwiches, hot dogs etc before everyone else. Once again, we sing our prayer and the challenge of winning table inspection recommences.

12:45pm: Afternoon Praise

The entire camp gathers to sing a few fun Bible songs or dance to some of the camps favourite songs like Cupid Shuffle or Cotton Eye Joe. At the end of Afternoon Praise, Head Counsellors reveal the scores from cabin clean-up and the winners get coins to help towards the weekly competition for a pizza party.

1:15pm: Elective

Depending on the week this could be a camper’s one and only elective class or their second one – hopefully doing something they chose to do!

2:45pm: Swimming

Swim time is separated into girls’ and boys’ slots, this slot being for the girls. The girls enjoy swimming with their friends from different cabins, shoot down the slides or cool off by the pool side.

3:45pm: Canteen

Canteen includes things like ice cream, crisps, slush puppies and other treats which everyone eats on the decking (aka the best place to eat M&Ms).

4pm: Recreation

Rec activities involve playing games like human foosball, gaga ball, dodge ball, 9-square, basketball or playing in the play area. Counsellors follow the rota to know which activity to go to, but also adapt to the weather, logistics and their cabin’s interests. 

5pm: Dinner

Again, campers are keen to be first in the dinner queue eagerly awaiting burgers, pasta, hot dogs, fried chicken, corn bread and of course dessert! The staff are also happy to have the option of the salad bar knowing there will be more food in the next few weeks, days and hours - including staff snacks on a Tuesday and Thursday evening!

6pm: Recreation/Track

We certainly keep busy and depending on the week campers may have a fairly relaxed rec time or have another track session.

7pm: Juice Break

The entire camp has a break where staff get a repeat of canteen and the campers get a slightly healthier juice and snack.

7:20pm: Flag Lowering

Everyone attends flag lowering and then gets told about the days evening program.

7:30pm: Evening Program

The entire camp is involved in the evening’s program whether it’s opening night, a treasure/scavenger hunt, a slumber party, cabin vs cabin, a pool & movie party or the awards night!

9pm: Vespers then Lights Out

Vespers is a short talk from the Officer of the Day about the Bible and how the campers and staff could apply these teachings to their time at camp and the rest of their lives. Following this, campers go back to their cabins to get ready for bed before lights out, ahead of another busy day!!

And that's the day in the life at a Salvation Army camp. The important thing here to note is, we work with a wide variety of Christian camps, some which have little emphasis on the religion (and wouldn't require you to be religious to work there), but then some which would have a stronger emphasis (and would prefer to hire staff who are practising Christianity). Working on a Christian Camp is just like working at most other camps and if you have a Christian background this could be a great match for you! Most Christian camps welcome staff from all walks of life and as long as you have an open mind and are respectful of the camp values, then it’s well worth opening your application up to these camps!