Salvos youth camps are changing lives

Salvation Army Morley Corps youth leader Anne-Marie Patrick. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d414609
Salvation Army Morley Corps youth leader Anne-Marie Patrick. Picture: Marcus Whisson www.communitypix.com.au d414609

The 19-year-old Marangaroo resident said she had a rough time fitting in when she was younger, which affected her outlook on life.

‘I was very shy and I didn’t really open up to people very much because I didn’t have any self-confidence,’ she said.

‘I was dealing with family issues, which was hard.

‘We had ups and downs and I had a rough time.

‘In the end those times made us closer as a family but at the time it was tough.’

To cope through those difficult teenage years, Ms Patrick’s older sister, a youth leader at the time, introduced her to the Balga Corps youth program.

Ms Patrick said that at first she was reluctant to go because she was nervous and didn’t know anyone.

‘I went on a camp and it changed something in me ” it gave me confidence,’ she said.

‘Going on that camp was the greatest thing I have chosen to do.

‘It made me come out of my shell, not be so shy and gave me the confidence to make new friends.’

‘I met people from Morley Corps and now it’s like my home now ” it’s like a family to me.’

After five years with the Salvation Army, Ms Patrick became a youth leader and a founder of junior youth program Fusion.

‘I love being a part of seeing how the kids grow,’ she said.

‘You can see the progress throughout the time the kids come, which is great to be part of.

‘Going on the last camp as a leader and to see those girls who are shy ” I thought to myself that I used to be like them.

‘A lot has changed on how I think and how I feel about myself and my state of mind has changed.’

Salvation Army Youth Camps cater to underprivileged youth aged 12-15 years old.

The camps are designed to help youth through challenging life issues.

Youth leaders support youth in developing leadership skills, improve self-esteem, foster interpersonal skills and encourage teamwork.

Without the support of McDonald’s funding, the camps would not be possible.