Some are waiting for their parents to return; some will never see them again. Children of all ages, from all races and across socio-economic classes. As different as they are, they all have one thing in common: they are the children of the brave men and women who protect our country, who serve this great nation in the armed forces. During the weekend of July 24-26, volunteers from the Utah Elks Association, Dugway Medics, BML Construction, Continue Mission, Hand in Hand, Survivors Outreach, Home Depot and Walmart (to name a few) helped provide the Little Warriors Camp free of charge to these children.
The camp offers three days of outdoor activities and recreation. There are all kinds of activities and programs for our soldiers and veterans, but it is always the children who get left out. The Utah Elks and other organizations wanted to include the children as they also sacrifice for their country. In 2014, the first year of the camp, 17 warriors and their guardians participated. This year, there were 52 participants as well as their guardians and volunteers, totaled well over 100. The Little Warriors were able to enjoy a mini summer camp in the hills above Tooele called Camp Wapiti. But thanks to the contributions of time, money and products, scores of volunteers were able to directly impact the lives of these children.
The kids enjoyed swimming, fishing, a BB gun range, arts and crafts, s’mores and lots and lots of food. For many, the fishing was the biggest draw, introducing many children who had never dipped lines in the water to the joy of the sport. For many of these children, those who have lost a loved one to war or suicide because of war, their lives are anything but normal. The Utah Elks and many volunteers will continue with this retreat and hopefully bring some brightness and joy to the kids and their families, said Robert “Papa” Pagnani, Utah Elks veterans chairman.
The Utah Elks Association along with other organizations and volunteers conducted the little Warriors Camp during July for the children of those who serve our country in the armed forces.