The Salvation Army has been actively serving America’s youth for over 120 years. Salvation Army corps community centers offer religious and character-building programs that can include Sunday school, youth troops, music classes, athletics and sporting events, arts and crafts, camping, and more.
Many inner-city youths who participate in such programs do not have access or opportunity to have these experiences otherwise. They have not experienced the peace or safety of camping in the rural countryside. Many have never had the opportunity to play a musical instrument, or to make crafts and play competitive games in a protected setting.
The Salvation Army gives all youth a chance to experience educational enrichment, life skills development, and spiritual and physical wellness. Such experiences allow these at-risk children and adolescents to envision and pursue better futures. By offering helpful alternatives and hope, The Salvation Army assists at-risk youths and families to avoid social dysfunction and crime.
Salvation Army youth programs place special emphasis on activities that encourage character and life skills development. Through mentoring and education, disadvantaged children and teens are shown the possibility of a better life. Please contact your local Salvation Army for information on youth programs available in your area.
Serving nearly 1,200 children ages six to fourteen this summer and located just outside Ellwood City, The Salvation Army’s Camp Allegheny provides memorable experiences to children from across 28 counties in Western Pennsylvania. While activities include team sports, swimming, canoeing, crafts and more, the focus is on character-building and learning important life skills in a safe and comfortable Christian environment. Children who attend camp often come away with new lifelong friendships, and many return when they are older to work as camp counselors, sharing their own life-changing experiences with new campers each year.
The most critical time of life is often the teenage years. This is the time when choices made can truly impact a young person’s life forever. That’s why The Salvation Army’s Bridging the Gap program continues to grow. At Bridging the Gap, young people ages twelve to seventeen who are demonstrating “at risk” behavior or have committed their first non-violent crime are referred by law enforcement, counselors, social workers or the school system to participate in this comprehensive twelve-week program that encourages life-changing behaviors.
When many local school districts in Beaver County had to cut back on their music and arts programs, The Salvation Army stepped in. Long associated with music, brass bands and musical education, it was a perfect way to help young people with the desire to learn have an opportunity to do so. Starting in Aliquippa in 2012, the program quickly expanded county-wide. Now known as the Beaver County Music School, the program uses music as a key to open the doors for holistic service to the communities it serves. In addition to receiving free music lessons, students receive warm meals, character development programming, spiritual formation and life skills mentoring.
Many students have gone on to become mentors and teachers in the program, participate in after school sports and academic programs at their local schools, are honor-roll students, and even begin attending worship programs at the Worship and Service Centers.
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