Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
Members of the Summer Music and Gospel Arts Crew

Music program turns kids into leaders (video)

Added on Thursday, July 27, 2017

(Watch video) – Seven teenagers from across Minnesota have become better musicians and leaders thanks to an innovative pilot program offered at The Salvation Army Northwoods Camp in Finlayson, Minn.

The program, called the Summer Music and Gospel Arts Crew, was held throughout July and included extensive training in public speaking, music, acting, leading a worship service – even setting up a music stage. (Donate to this camp.)

Crew member Tori plays guitarThe kids’ goal: Use the knowledge they gained to become the next generation of music and spiritual leaders at their Salvation Army churches.

A crew member named Tori (pictured left) will be putting her new skills into action at The Salvation Army’s church in Rochester, Minn. After arriving at camp unsure of her abilities as a guitarist and leader, she left with a newfound confidence in herself and her talents.

“At first, I thought I couldn’t play guitar well enough,” she said. “After I got over that fear I started to have a lot of fun. When I go back to (Rochester), I will be bringing more to the table. Now I understand what it takes to be a good leader.”

Crew members play instrumentsAnother crew member, named Nene, also left the program feeling energized.

“When I go back to my (church), I’m going to teach the kids how to play trumpet and how to sing,” said Nene, who attends a Salvation Army church in St. Cloud, Minn. “My goal is to help make a new praise team.”

Jose SanchezThe crew was led by Jose Sanchez (pictured right), music director for The Salvation Army Northern Division. He applauded the kids for the hard work they put in and the personal growth they took away.

“What a wonderful group of kids,” he said. “This program was an experiment – but a very successful experiment.”

So successful, in fact, that Sanchez believes the program could be modeled by Salvation Army locations nationwide.

“It definitely has that potential,” he said.


Meet the members of the Summer Music and Gospel Arts Crew in this short video:

About Northwoods Camp

Northwoods Camp is a 280-acre Salvation Army facility located two hours north of the Twin Cities. Each year, hundreds of children and families in Minnesota and North Dakota come for fun outdoors activities and spiritual growth.

Read a story about Northwoods Camp.

Help The Salvation Army serve youth by volunteering or making a donation to support kids in your local community.