Thanks to Polaris Industries Inc., hundreds of inner-city and low-income kids can now experience something they never imagined possible: driving an ATV through the woods.
Polaris recently donated a whopping 19 brand new ATVs to The Salvation Army. The vehicles are for kids at The Salvation Army Northwoods Camp in Finlayson, Minn., where children from across Minnesota and North Dakota come every summer to enjoy the great outdoors. The camp is 200-plus acres and features oodles of riding trails.
“What an incredible opportunity for these children,” said Captain Andrew Shiels, Youth Secretary for The Salvation Army Northern Division. “Driving an ATV is something most of these kids would otherwise not be able to do.”
Two of the ATVs are 550cc models for adults. The rest are 50cc, 90cc and 200cc models for kids of varying ages. Total retail value: more than $60,000.
Polaris didn’t stop there. The Medina, Minn.-based company also donated a helmet, gloves, chest protector and other safety equipment for every ATV. They’ve also sponsored training in safety – an absolute must for every rider – and light repairs such as oil changes and repairing a flat tire.
“Northwoods Camp already offers a host of activities many of the kids have only guessed at – fishing, archery and so much more,” Shiels said. “These new ATVs take the fun and excitement of this camp to an entirely new level. We applaud Polaris for the investment they’ve made in children served by The Salvation Army.”
Northwoods Camp is attended by 3,000 children of all ages and backgrounds, from rural tweens to inner-city teenagers. Several camps are offered for kids in unique circumstances, such as LIFE (Love Is For Everyone) Camp, a four-day stay for children with an incarcerated parent.
“Teaching young people to safely operate ATVs, along with helping them learn new skills, gives them a positive experience with life-long benefits,” said Scott Wine, Polaris CEO. “Our partnership with The Salvation Army’s Northwoods Camp is important to our company and the powersports community, highlighting how ATVs can be both a fun way to enjoy the outdoors and a positive educational tool for youth.”