Claremore Daily Progress

June 2, 2013

Send a Kid to Camp: Return trip anticipated by children

Rebecca Hattaway
Staff Reporter

CLAREMORE —

Nine-year-olds Colton Spencer and Natalee Wilcox are always up for an adventure.
Last summer was their first time to leave home for a week and attend camp.
They both adjusted easily to the new environment and had a great time learning new skills and making new friends.
“It was Colton’s first time to be away from Dad,” said his father, Mark. “He said ‘Bye Dad’ at the car and started for the bus...He didn’t look back!”
The kids can’t wait to return later this month.
“As soon as he got off the bus, he asked if he could go back,” Mark said.
Penny Burns, DHS school-based social worker for Claremore Schools, says Natalee has asked about camp every day since Thanksgiving.
“My brother’s annoying so I can get away!,” she said.
A special memory for Natalee was celebrating her birthday during the week.
“Everybody sang to me; it was embarrassing!,” she said. “They gave me balloons.”
Natalee loved swimming in the camp’s five swimming pools with slides and a giant mushroom water feature.
Colton agreed.
“Last year, my funnest part was the swimming,” he said. “I wonder this year if I’ll get to go canoeing.”
He also enjoyed the games and challenges they had against other dorms (called “tribes” and named after different Indian tribes).
“They have competitions like seeing who has the cleanest table in the lunchroom. The winners get prizes,” he said.
His favorite meal during camp was biscuits and gravy at breakfast.
Share the Spirit Foundation’s “Send a Kid to Camp” program is raising funds for 45 Rogers County children to spend a week at the Salvation Army’s Camp Heart O’Hills in Tahlequah.
It costs $175 per camper to attend.
To date, $1,325 of the $7,875 needed has been collected. The children will board the bus for camp on June 17.
All funds raised go to the campers. DHS coordinates camper eligibility, physicals and paper work. The Pilot Club of Claremore provides “ditty bags” with shampoo, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, washcloths, hair brushes and combs. Salvation Army —  Claremore Unit charters buses to take the campers to Tahlequah and provides clothing, bedding, shoes and whatever else the children need for a comfortable and memorable camp experience.
On the camp’s website it states, “The Salvation Army Camp Heart O’ Hills offers a place where eyes are opened, lives are enriched, souls are nurtured, and a change of environment, with unforgettable experiences and newfound hope.”
Please consider how you can give local kids the opportunity to have this important life experience.
Tax-deductible donations may be mailed to Share the Spirit, c/o Claremore Daily Progress, P.O. Box 248, Claremore, OK 74018, or dropped by the Progress at 315 W. Will Rogers Blvd. Names of donors will be listed unless anonymity is requested.
Recent contributors include Kendall and Cheryl L. Dorsey, Jackie L. and Candace S. Whinery and Charlene Harrell.