Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., TSAO success
Sault St. Marie, Mich., Corps Officers Majors Daniel and Amy Voss started to include The Salvation Army Outdoors (TSAO) activities into their corps programming in their last appointment at Wyandotte, Mich., Corps.
"Captain [now Major] Monty Wandling was our DYS [Divisional Youth Secretary], and he introduced us to this new programming idea," said Dan. "We brought the idea to Sault Ste. Marie where we are surrounded by a beautiful wilderness area and many natural resources."
Dan incorporates TSAO programming into many different aspects of the corps including ongoing activities and seasonal programs like vacation Bible school. Perhaps their most popular TSAO activity is the fishing club. It's held Tuesday evenings June through October and between six and 15 people attend.
"When we take folks fishing, and they're successful, it's such a rush!"
Using the "Project Wild" TSAO curriculum, the corps has offered their character-building troops lessons on GeoCaching (which is like an electronic treasure hunt using a GPS), ecology and camping.
"Our young people, and even adults, are excited about the outdoor emphasis," said Dan. "When they get to stay out in tents and hear coyotes, loons, sandhill cranes, wild turkeys and wolves, it's exciting. Not only that, but this outdoor living teaches our kids to choose to be outside having fun instead of indoors playing video games or surfing the web."