Why Some Kids Can’t Go To Summer Camp

School is out and for many parents, summer camp is a way to keep their kids busy and in some cases out of trouble. This summer, the Houston Salvation Army says some children are being turned away. Bill Stamps explains why.

The Salvation Army puts on a handful of summer camps throughout Houston. Not the kind where you were say goodbye to your parents and go off to a lake somewhere. These are day camps held at Boys and Girls Clubs. But one particular club is getting more interest this year than all the others.

“You can’t miss it. It’s a big building that says Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club and so I think people are attracted to that and the community is excited about it.”

That’s Salvation Army spokesman Juan Alanis and the facility he’s talking about is the new Boys and Girls Club in Garden City. The old one was destroyed by Hurricane Ike and some many children want to attend the camp, the Salvation Army doesn’t have the money to pay for the extra staffers.

“We weren’t expecting the demand to be as high but it really has been very high you know where we have 100 kids already registered and we have about 129 kids on a waiting list right now.”

The Salvation Army relies heavily on public donations. And even though Houston is doing better economically than most cities, Alanis says layoffs are still affecting local families, and that means more of the Salvation Army’s resources must go to them instead of the camps.

“Now, we’re seeing families that are homeless, that have been homeless sometime in the last thirty days, and who need to get back into a stable home for themselves and their children. And so we’re trying to do both at the same time and that’s why we’re asking the community for support.”

Their asking the public to give money, money that will be used to hire more staffers. Alanis says you can state that the money be used specifically for the Garden City Boys and Girls Club.

“We know the need is there. And while we didn’t anticipate that big of demand, because we weren’t serving that many kids before in the old facility. We want to make sure that those children that need it, those families that need to have their kids in our Boys and Girls summer camps that they have a place to go that they have that option.”