Camping it up
Salvation Army sending eight local youths to camp for educational, inspirational experience

Patti Sells | News-Telegram Feature Editor

Dillan Maynard, Julian Ramirez, Braxston Evans, Hanna Moreland, Catie McCord, William Ramirez and Rowdy Hargett all prepare to load up and head off to Midlothian and attend Camp Hoblitzelle, a Salvation Army camp that provides youngsters the opportunity for fun, adventure and fellowship through social and recreational activities. HCSA Chairman Jo Marie Neal and her daughter-in-law, Carolyn Neal, drove the children to camp Monday in two vehicles provided by Tommy Perez of Sulphur Springs Ford.
Staff Photo By Patti Sells

July 26, 2005 -- Each year The Salvation Army gives hundreds of underprivileged children the chance to enjoy a summer camp experience that's not only fun, but educational and inspirational, as well.

This year, eight area youths will get that experience first-hand as they set out for Camp Hoblitzelle in Midlothian July 25 through July 30.

"They just learn and do so many different things that they wouldn't otherwise get to," said Hopkins County Salvation Army Chairman Jo Marie Neal. "Some of them have never ridden a horse, or maybe they don't know how to swim. It's just good for children to have those experiences and get away from their routine lives."

According to 12-year-old Rowdy Hargett of Como-Pickton, who is attending Camp Hoblitzelle for a second time, activities include archery, canoeing, crafts, and Bible study three times a day.

"My favorite thing is the zip-line," said Hargett, explaining that campers are attached with a harness and soar across a wire 50 feet in the air.

According to Neal, she herself carries special memories of attending 4-H camp as a youth, and she feels that all children should be given the opportunity to experience summer camp programs.

"It's important for kids to get out and make new friends," said Neal. "Every child should be given that opportunity, and sometimes if you come from a large family, it's just not possible to send your children to camp."

Through grants and camp scholarships The Salvation Army makes it possible.

Camp Hoblitzelle, owned and operated by The Salvation Army, is one of more than 50 Salvation Army camps across the country that is a part of a worldwide Christian evangelical ministry. Campers are encouraged to explore, discover and appreciate nature in peaceful surroundings that provide children the opportunity to experience challenging new adventures and make new friends through social and recreational activities.

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