From a distance, the picturesque, pastoral setting almost seemed to portray a normal day at summer camp.
Children walked from the morning chapel service toward a calm lake, where canoes and kayaks awaited. In the distance, others moved quickly to arts and crafts activities.
However, the day was anything but routine for the 238 boys and girls who attended Camp Corral, held at the historic YMCA Camp Hanes in King, North Carolina.
One important factor set this summer camp apart: every participant came from a family that had a parent wounded or killed in battle.
Several of the attendees were able to participate due to generous scholarship funding from the Rye Foundation. Two of Rye’s priorities are offering support to children of prisoners and children from military homes.
“This is a very special week,” said camp director Val Elliott, “and we are thankful for the Rye Foundation and its financial commitment to these children.”
During a recent site tour, leaders of the Foundation visited with children and staff members, attended the chapel service, and enjoyed lunch in the dining hall.
A daily highlight is seeing the boys and girls gather at the flagpole and recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
The informative site tour was part of an ongoing strategic plan to observe quality programming that is “making a difference” in the lives of North Carolina children. Other tours have been to Camp Vandemere near New Bern, Kamp Kiwanis in Lexington, Cale Camp in Hertford, the Mount Sinai – McCreary Community Center in Catawba, and the beloved Presbyterian Orphanage in Black Mountain.