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Watertown Salvation Army seeks donations for children’s camp experience

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Watertown Salvation Army Lt. Zeb Hough can vouch for a great Salvation Army summer camp experience.

He spent every summer there from age 7 to 18, thanks to support from his generous community.

As leader of the local agency, he is seeking donations from people and businesses to help offer about 50 children the same opportunity he had as a child.

“It’s near and dear to my heart,” he said.

Lt. Hough said funds are being collected now through the middle of August.

Children, or their families, do not have to contribute financially toward the $550 cost to attend a weeklong camping session at Camp Long Point, on Seneca Lake, Dresden.

Most slots are covered by donations, but if there aren’t enough donations to cover that expense, the Watertown Salvation Army will have to pick up the tab.

Lt. Hough said that could jeopardize adult or youth programs.

The agency received its first $500 check toward camp scholarships last week. Lt. Hough said if people cannot afford to sponsor one or more children, any amount would be appreciated.

Children interested in attending camp can have their parents pick up an application at the Watertown Salvation Army, 723 State St. Although about 100 applications already have been picked up, only five had been returned as of Wednesday.

Slots will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. After those 50 slots are filled, children will go on a waiting list.

Camp runs from June 28 to Aug. 20. Registration is open up until two weeks before each camp start date. Camp sessions are sports, music and teenagers.

Lt. Hough said he remembers camp as being a whirlwind cultural experience, as counselors primarily are made up of international staff.

“They’ll get to know a world outside of their own,” he said. “I think this camp offers an experience outside of home for kids to create memories they otherwise wouldn’t get to experience.”

Lt. Hough and his wife, Lt. Summer Hough, will drive children to camp each week that it is offered. The couple also hopes to spend some time there.

To contribute, people can drop off cash or checks, made payable to “Watertown Salvation Army” with “camp” in the memo line. Checks also can be mailed to the agency.

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