BCS Summer Camp
All children deserve a summer filled with warm life-changing memories. Summer camp is a rite of passage for many children; however, for many families, the high costs of camp is out of reach. That is why The Salvation Army raises money each year to send kids to camp, offering a diverse program including recreation, Christian education, nature, swimming, arts/crafts, equestrian, archery, hiking, and much more.
For its 2019 season, The Salvation Army of Bryan/College Station will send over 50 children to camp this summer and throughout the year. The Salvation Army Camp Hoblitzelle, located in Midlothian, TX, has been the home of The Salvation Army’s summer camp programs since 1956. Every year, thousands of children from across the State of Texas enjoy a program that provides not only fun and excitement, but also a chance to learn valuable lessons and skills that the children can carry forth with them long after they return to their homes.
A grand send off for those leaving for Camp Hoblitzelle occurred on July 8th from the Salvation Army office in Bryan. Camp participants embarked a chartered bus to travel to Midlothian, TX. Sponsors for the send-off included breakfast from Shipley’s Do-nuts of Bryan/College Station, lunch from Chik-fil-A of Bryan, and bedding from Wal-Mart Super Center in College Station.
Children sat waiting for the bus to arrive beaming with excitement and thoughts of how their week would go. Many were attending camp for the first time ever. An overwhelming number of children were excited to try new things. “Horses!” said one camper, “We get to ride a horse!”
As the bus arrived back in Bryan on July 13th, excited children jumped off and ran to their parents full of excitement. Moms and dads hugged their children whom they had not seen in a week-long timeframe. This was a first for many parents as well, as their children had never stayed away from so long. They were excited to hear all about their time at camp. Some of the children wished they could go back immediately, while some were excited just to be home and tell their families about their new adventure and memories made.
Due to financial hardships, many summer camps have become an impossible dream for many struggling families. Some camps costing a few dollars fill up quickly; and with long waiting lists, while other camps can cost in the thousands of dollars just for a week long event. However, because of countless financial donors, like those who specifically gave at the 8th Annual “Doing The Most Good” luncheon to the summer camp program in May 2019, The Salvation Army of Bryan/College Station can give those deserving families the life changing experiences that they need. The Salvation Army Camp Hoblitzelle is designed to promote the development of the whole child; spiritually, mentally, physically, and emotionally through structured group activities to improve socialization and boost self-confidence.
The Salvation Army camp programs date back to the 1890s and were held throughout the United States. Starting around 1930, Camp Lone Star in Irving, TX, was the state-wide camp site for the Texas Division of The Salvation Army. On April 21, 1956, Camp Hoblitzelle in Midlothian, Texas, was dedicated as The Salvation Army’s new camp home through a gift from the Hoblitzelle Foundation and the sale of the Camp Lone Star property. The original Camp Hoblitzelle property was 370 acres and today has spread to 1,200 acres total. More than 1,400 campers attended the first season in the new camp in 1956.