Released 10 June 2014
A Summer at Camp Makes the Heart Grow Fonder
Nothing has the ability to change the life of a child quite like a week at summer camp. Unfortunately, many inner city children will never experience hiking in the mountains or sleeping in a tent beneath a starry sky. To remedy this, The Salvation Army offers the opportunity for inner city children, like 8-year-old Marquise Brown, to experience life outside of the city in the great outdoors.
Hailing from West Philadelphia, Marquise is headed into his second summer at The Salvation Army Camp Ladore in the Pocono Mountains. After having a great experience last summer trying out everything that Camp Ladore has to offer, Marquise is ecstatic to head back to camp. His mother, Monet Brown, recounts the first day she sent Marquise to camp.
"I was so nervous to send him and he was really nervous as well," said Monet. "Now he can't stop talking about it. We have over a week until he leaves and he already has his bags packed."
Marquise is Monet's only child, and was always a very shy. Without any siblings, Marquise was reserved and had trouble breaking out of his shell. Monet, who attended The Salvation Army Camp Ladore with her siblings when she was a child, thought Marquise could really grow through an experience at camp. After Marquise got back from camp, she noticed an immediate change.
"He grew tremendously from his time at camp," said Monet. "He talks a lot more and really appears to have broken the shy barrier."
After Marquise's time at camp, he could not stop talking about all of the things he learned and activities he participated in. Marquise spent his time doing everything from camping and hiking to fishing and learning about nature, all the while meeting new friends. Monet mentioned that not only was the experience terrific for Marquise, but the staff was caring and attentive when monitoring Marquise's asthma.
"As soon as he got home he couldn't stop talking about different types of trees he learned about or how much fun he had," said Monet. "The staff was absolutely awesome. I was nervous when I let him go but I knew he was in good hands."
Now Marquise is heading back for his second summer and bringing a guest, his 8-year-old cousin Zahirah. Monet believes that despite financial barriers, it's important for every kid to experience camp at least once.
"With so much violence in our neighborhoods, kids aren't allowed to play in the park or even sit out on the stoop alone," said Monet. "Camp is different. Camp gives a kid the chance to just be a kid outdoors. Everyone who goes has a blast."
You can help send an underprivileged child to The Salvation Army Camp Ladore this summer, with a simple text message. Text SUMMERCAMP, all one word, to 41444, to make a donation of any amount using your credit card.