Salkehatchie camps drop to 14 as on-line registration opens March 1
By Jessica Brodie
Salkehatchie Summer Service is poised to open online registration March 1, though with fewer camps and a mostly outdoor experience planned.
Of the more than 40 camps typically planned for the summer mission experience, only 14 are currently slated for this summer.
- Bamberg: July 9-16
- Bishopville: June 25-July 2
- Black Swamp (Hampton County): July 9-16
- Chester: June 11-18
- Clover: July 17-23
- Columbia: July 16-23
- Emerald City (Greenwood): July 16-23
- Laurens: June 18-25
- Newberry: July 17-22
- North Augusta: July 16-23
- Piedmont: June 25-July 2
- Santee (Clarendon County): July 9-16
- Union: June 18-25
- Winyah Bay (Georgetown): June 11-18
“With only 14 camps operating in the summer of 2022, we anticipate the camps will fill up quickly,” Salkehatchie Board Chair Kathy Hart said, urging those who hope to participate to act quickly.
Registration is $250/person, and anyone aged 14 and older is welcome if they comply with the new protocols.
Several changes are in place this year given the lingering impact of COVID-19, which is already well past the two-year mark. These changes include the following:
- All campers, adults and youth, must be fully vaccinated to include all vaccinations and boosters in accordance with CDC recommendations at the time of camp. There are no exceptions to this protocol. Campers must bring a copy of their current white COVID-19 vaccination record card to camp;
- If a camper becomes sick with COVID-19 or any of the variants in the weeks prior to camp, they must quarantine for five days and provide a negative test prior to camp date. If this is not possible, camp fees will be refunded upon request;
- Mask-wearing will be determined by the camp director when social distancing is impossible;
- Camps will focus on exterior repair work, such as accessibility ramps and roofs; and
- Sleeping arrangements will be socially distanced.
The registration link will be at Salkehatchie.org. All adults must secure a background check through Smart Trak for Volunteers before completing their registration.
“Salkehatchie camps are God’s camps,” said Salkehatchie founder the Rev. John Culp at the camp directors’ Feb. 12 meeting. “The success of a Salkehatchie camp depends on God’s guiding hand with the unified efforts of local churches and Salkehatchie volunteers.”
Hart said costs are higher this year, and the board is asking for prayer and other support as they approach a year feeling what she called the “pinch of inflation,” especially considering the escalating price of building materials such as lumber and shingles.
“Salkehatchie relies heavily on the delicious meals provided by churches,” Hart said. “If a church is not ready to open their doors to Salkehatchie campers, we are hoping they will consider other ways to help, like sending boxed lunches, setting up an outdoor picnic or providing a financial donation for a meal instead.
“We recognize that Salkehatchie camps will be operating differently this year, but God is calling us to get back to work, and we are packing our tools.”
The other camps not opening this year plan to reopen in the summer of 2023: Anderson, Baker Creek, Calhoun, Catawba, Circuit Rider, Creekfront, Dalzell, Fairfield, Foothills, Harvest, Jenkinsville, Lake City, Lake Murray, Lancaster, Marlboro-Flowers (formally Pee Dee), Middle Tyger, Moncks Corner, New Hope, North Strand, Penn Center, Rivertown, Sand River, Spartanburg, Summerville, Sumter, Two Rivers, Upstate Greenville, Wateree and Williamsburg (formally Hemingway-Kingstree East).
Since 1978, Salkehatchie Summer Service has been changing hearts and lives by offering youth and adults an opportunity to draw closer to Christ through service. Teams go directly into communities of chronic poverty and repair the homes of local families there. By immersing them in an intense physical, emotional, and spiritual experience, Salkehatchie aims to make disciples of Christ. After a week of service, many of the volunteers say, “My life changed forever.”
To register: https://www.umcsc.org/salkehatchie/