By Ron VandenBoom
It might just be an understatement to say the Salvation Army Summer Day Camp gives children something to do.
Director of Family Services and Day Care Director for the camp Ingrid Cartwright, simply referred to the camp as kind of an alternative to the regular day care. But its truly more a lot more for the kids.
Activities, tours, field trips, nutritional treats, lunches and crafts make this camp something special.
The camp runs for 11 weeks and each week has a theme, Cartwright explained. Week one, that runs from June 7-11, is The Great Outdoors theme and includes planting a garden, hiking in the Bear Paw Mountains, swimming, and track and field day, to name just a few scheduled activities.
Other themes include Dinosaur Week, Awesome Athletes, Animals, When I Grow Up, and City Government.
Tours of everything from City Hall and the Havre Police Station to the Blaine County Museum and Chief Josephs Battlefield are also scheduled.
A staff of five consisting of Cartwright, three counselors and one aide run the camp and all the staff has at least one years experience in the program.
The camp is headquartered in the Salvation Army Activities Center at 605 Second Street in Havre, but Cartwright emphasizes the program is not a Vacation Bible School and is completely nondenominational with only what she calls moral lessons being taught.
The hours of operation extend from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., but extended hours are available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. for an extra charge.
The cost for a normal week is $35 per child and a limited amount of help in the form of weekly scholarships may be available, thats all our funds are allowing us to do, she said, while complimenting the communitys generosity.
Donations to the program are what makes it all possible, Cartwright said. They are also what allows us to charge only $35 per child for the program.
But even the full price of $35 per child doesnt cover all of the expense of putting on the program, she added.
Parents with two children in the program will get an additional break paying only $50 per week.
Cartwright also emphasized that many of the programs are made possible because of contributions from organizations and businesses who have donated time, services and items.
Cartwright cited free tours through businesses, and tourist attractions, discounts on food items and recreational activities like swimming, and lectures given by community members, businessmen, and public officials, as examples of the hand-in-hand effort that makes the Summer Camp work.
Last year the program had 74 registered children participate with a total attendance of 1,194 through the summer. They also served 2,300 meals and snacks to the children.