Salkehatchie Summer Program

Trinity United Methodist Church of Bamberg hosted the annual Salkehatchie Summer Service Program, Saturday July 9th thru Saturday July 16th at Trinity United Methodist Church in Bamberg. Trinity United Methodist Church has hosted the camp for 15 years. This year, approximately 64 volunteers from out of town camped at the Church in Bamberg with a few other participants from in town. Several other area churches, Sunday school classes, and individuals took turns feeding the participants.

“It was a community effort,” said camp director Charlie Bellamy. With churches in Bamberg and Orangeburg County providing meals and monetary donations. Bellamy noted the event was a success due to the efforts of “a lot of partners in the community” and he could not do justice by trying to name all of them.

Campers begin each day with breakfast at 6 a.m. and then it was off to the worksites. There were five different work sites throughout Bamberg County this year. Each site is assigned adult leaders and a crew of volunteers to complete work ranging from: roofing, plumbing, and flooring to painting and re-decorating with necessary items like linens and bedding.

The group of student workers was composed of volunteers from all over the state of South Carolina with the United Methodist Church Conference.

As pleasing as it was for the families serviced by the Salkehatchie Summer Service Program, the reward is even greater for the volunteers who pay $200 per summer to participate in the program and get a chance to serve others.

According to their website, the Salkehatchie Summer Service Program is a pioneering servant ministry at selected sites in South Carolina. Participants including high school students (must be at least 14). College age youth, adult community leaders and persons of different cultures, are engaged in upgrading housing and motivating community cooperative efforts by helping people to help themselves. Salkehatchie Summer Service is a program of the South Carolina Conference Board of Global Ministries. The program is not an 8 to 5 job. “The whole week, we serve, grow, learn and share together,” according to the program’s website.

Along with thanking the other churches, Sunday school classes and individuals for their support, Bellamy recognized the efforts of: Gray Pregnall, assistant camp director; and Al Palmer and Chester Hightower, who were in charge of putting the meals together and making sure they were furnished to the participants.