Summer camp days are full of sunshine, swimming, arts and crafts and blossoming friendships. This is true for campers of all ages — including those in The Salvation Army’s Senior Camp program. Every June the Army’s Wonderland Camp in Wisconsin welcomes more than 260 older adults for four days of camping fun. Campers can be as busy or relaxed as they choose, and select from a variety of activities. “I look forward to coming here,” Pattie Wynder, 79, of Roseland, said. “I love going for walks along the pathways and seeing the beautiful flowers. And I feel safe here.” A typical Senior Camp day includes worship services along with opportunities for boat rides, archery, nature hikes, bingo and other activities.
“There’s always so much to do here,” said Willie Mae Brown, 87, of Bridgeport, as she headed to rehearsal for the evening’s talent show. “I love the dancing. I’ve been coming for 10 years and I’ve never been disappointed.” No matter the activities, friendships are always in full bloom. Bonnie McKirnan, 71, of Carol Stream, and Wynder spent time sharing stories while in the dining room with promises to stay in touch after camp. “I enjoy connecting with people,” said McKirnan. “There are so many people with different backgrounds to talk with.” For some seniors, camp is their only connection to The Salvation Army, but for others, this is just another way to be involved. Carrie Combs, 81, of Chinatown, has been involved with the Army since she was a young girl. “Our house burned down and The Salvation Army was the first group there to help us,” she said. “They sent my siblings and me to camp here one summer, and I’ve been coming up ever since.” Combs has made Wonderland Camp a family destination, taking her children to camp and visiting the site for summer picnics. “And here I am enjoying being a camper again.”
To learn more about The Salvation Army’s Wonderland Camp visit www.wonderlandcamp.com.