By Jessica Brodie
When it comes to loving others in Christ’s name, the more the merrier.
That’s why Salkehatchie Summer Service is gearing up now to release the names and dates of all 37 Salkehatchie camps planned for next year—in the hopes that earlier notice will enable more people to plan for summer service and register. Six camps are returning for the first time since the pandemic, and all will work to repair and rebuild homes for people in need, many of them living in poverty situations without the ability to fund the work on their own.
Founded in 1978 by the Rev. John Culp, Salkehatchie brings youth, young adult and adult volunteers together for a weeklong home repair mission event. Over the years, hundreds of homes have received new roofs, ramps, flooring, ceilings, bathrooms, kitchens and improvements in accessibility thanks to Salkehatchie.
Summer 2023 saw 920 Salkehatchie volunteers participate in camps that ran from June 10 through July 29, ultimately repairing more than 80 homes for families in need. Salkehatchie staffer Kathy Hart said she hopes to see even more volunteers next summer.
“Another definition of ‘home’ is the place where we feel most comfortable, loved and protected. But what if your roof leaks in the storms or your feet fall through the cracked floors or your front steps are dangerously wobbly?” Hart said. “Salkehatchie Summer Service LLC wants everyone to live in a home where they feel most comfortable, loved and protected, and we spend weeks repairing houses to make them homes.”
Volunteers must be at least 14 years old, and all adult volunteers must do a background check. Cost is $250 per volunteer and covers the cost of shingles, building supplies and other materials. Lodging and meals are included. Campers are accepted from all denominations and geographic locations.
Culp said Salkehatchie is especially meaningful to young people, helping them to truly understand poverty and to be in service.
“A young person needs to know more about life than sports,” Culp said. “Many of the young people have found their careers by going to Salkehatchie. They help their own lives by participating and seeing what they have, the opportunities they have.”
He urges people to encourage youth and parents at their churches and their community to sign up.
Registration will open in February for the camps (see list below).
“Please encourage the youth and adults in your church, as well as your family and friends, to experience the many blessings of a week at Salkehatchie, a week to put faith into action,” Hart said.
For questions, contact Salkehatchie at 803-691-6606 or [email protected].
Salkehatchie 2024 Camps:
Sumter, June 8-15
New Hope (Chesterfield), June 8-15
Winyah Bay (Georgetown), June 8-15
Baker Creek (McCormick), June 15-22
Penn Center (Beaufort), June 15-22
Jenkinsville, June 15-22
Laurens County, June 15-22
Catawba (Fort Mill), June 15-22
Union, June 15-22
Lancaster, June 16-22
JET (Johnston, Edgefield, Trenton), June 22-29
Sandriver (Aiken), June 22-29
Bishopville, June 22-29
Summerville, June 22-29
Piedmont, June 22-29
Marlboro-Flowers, June 22-29
Rock Hill, June 22-29
Lake City, June 29-July 6
Foothills (Pendleton), June 29-July 6
Bamberg, July 6-13
Circuit Rider (Johnsonville), July 6-13
Edisto Island, July 6-13
Moncks Corner, July 6-13
Santee (Manning), July 6-13
Fairfield (Winnsboro), July 13-20
Black Swamp (Hampton County), July 13-20
Columbia Camp, July 13-20
Emerald City (Greenwood), July 13-20
Lake Murray, July 13-20
North Augusta, July 13-20
Harvest (Dillon), July 13-20
Newberry, July 14-20
Calhoun County, July 20-27
Clover, July 20-27
North Strand (North Myrtle Beach), July 20-27
Dalzell, July 20-27
Creekfront (Murrells Inlet), July 21-26