Are your kids spending hours on the couch playing video games, when what you really want is for them to be outside, in a safe environment, where they can be active and have fun?

A recent study reports individuals who spent 30 minutes a week outside were more likely to experience better health. “Specifically, our results suggest that up to a further seven percent of depression cases and nine percent of high blood pressure cases could be prevented if all city residents were to visit green spaces at least once a week for an average duration of 30 minutes or more,” the study reported. The Forbes article says the research is unique because the dosing aspect can be narrowed to a certain amount of time. Read the full-article below.

Children need to get outside and play with other children their age in a safe environment where they are surrounded by caring adults. At Camp Gifford we offer hiking, archery, fishing, kayaking, swimming, arts and crafts, chapel time, team building, zip line, climbing tower, and many other activities.

Coca Cola Foundation asks the question, why Camp?

In 2001 The Coca Cola Foundation decided they wanted to invest in a youth leadership program. Backed by a foundation that has given hundreds of millions of dollars just to youth development programs, and the Coca Cola company that has annual profits in the billions – yes with a B! 

They began a nationwide review of youth development programs. They met with leadership from:

  • The Forum for Youth Investment

  • The Search Institute – and the 40 developmental assets

  • Girls Incorporated

  • Wyman Institute for Youth Development

And many other national recognized youth development programs. At the end of this extensive research they decided: A camping based program is where they wanted to invest. Now, the Camp Coca Cola foundation that operates camps across the country. Why would an organization with massive resources chose to invest in camping?

In their own words from an article in Camping Magazine

In searching for avenues to make a meaningful, impactful difference in the lives of today's youth, camp was chosen as an integral part of the newly created program because it immerses teens in positive activities and relationships and provides a great environment for building character, self-esteem, and healthy life habits. Like no other youth activity, camp has the ability to shape young people's futures and to transform lives. Participants have the opportunity to take risks, learn to accept challenges, and utilize their own untapped potential — skills that will help them succeed throughout the rest of their lives.

So why The Salvation Army, Camp Gifford?

Let's move the clock back a little bit...

The summer of 1897- and 20 tents pitched in Kansas City's Fairmont Park.That was the first known Salvation Army camping experience in the United States. Some twenty plus years later in 1921, then called Camp Cougar, located outside Spokane, The Salvation Army camping experience in the Inland Northwest had begun. Over 90 years later, Camp Gifford is still in operation, giving children a positive outdoor experience.

What that independent study showed in 2004 and what the Coca Cola Foundation realized through extensive research, The Salvation Army has been putting in to practice for over 100 years.

The simple truth is if you want to have a positive impact on youth and develop leaders – camp works.

The Salvation Army, Camp Gifford

Our camps run Monday through Friday to help parents with a full schedule to have something safe and educational for their children.

Our main camp on Deer Lake works with children 7 - 12 years old.

Camp Cougar is our wilderness camp that works with teens 13-17 years old.