CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Jasmine had very little confidence and low self-esteem. Due to a learning disability, she struggled at school. All of that changed, though, when she attended Camp Happy Valley.
Camp Happy Valley, which is affiliated with the Salvation Army, provides a positive, exciting, and fun-filled week that includes hiking, swimming, boating, fishing, biking, crafts, nature study, archery, and more.
"Many of the children would spend the whole summer at home alone in front of the TV if they were not able to attend camp. For many, this is their only vacation," camp staff said.
Children who are campers at Happy Valley "gain confidence and leadership skills as they work together with their cabin mates," camp staff said.
Jasmine, 6, is one of those campers. She benefited from the outside team building activities, especially a rope course, according to Capt. Aaron Goldfarb, who helps run the camp.
"She was able to complete the course and even came soaring down the zip line with a big smile on her face," Goldfarb said.
"Every year we have children who arrive shy and timid and within hours they are swimming, laughing and having the time of their lives," according to camp staff.
When Jasmine left camp a week later, "she held her head high and walked around with a new-found confidence," Goldfarb said.