Camp Maranatha Hosts Young Tornado Victims

SCOTTSBORO, Ala. (WHNT) — A Jackson County camp hosted 78 kids of north Alabama tornado victims for a week away from worry.

For the second summer since the devastating storms of April 27, Camp Maranatha near Scottsboro welcomed the kids for free.

“We have a few kids from last year and a lot of the kids are new and that’s great for us because we want them to have the experience,” director Gene Joiner said.

“There’s a lot of coping that goes on with the storms, after [Thursday's] storms in particular.”

Thursday night a thunderstorm with heavy winds toppled trees, and blew inflatable water toys and rafts throughout the camp.

The kids and staff were all at a worship service in what Joiner said is the safest building on the property.

However, the storm brought some kids to tears and Joiner said there was a lot of praying.

“it was evident to us that the kids are still dealing with the stress of the storm and so it was really nice that our counselors were able to be there and let the kids talk through their fear and do it in a safe environment,” he said.

It was a brief blemish on a wonderful week.

“It just gives us a chance to be out and enjoy life again,” Sydney Flowers said.

She is from Harvest and came to Camp Maranatha in Summer 2011 as well, and got to see some old friends and make some new ones.

“Camp Maranatha is amazing and all the activities are fun,” Flowers said.

“All the counselors are fun and the food is amazing. Amazing!”

Shawn Moore of Huntsville agreed and said his week at camp was great.

“This was my first time but I can definitely see I’m going to try to come next year,” he said.

“This was the best camp I’ve ever been to.”

The camp and several church organizations raised money to provide the opportunity to the kids for free, and Joiner said the Harvest Youth Central was also integral in making the week a success.