Soon, dozens of Twin Cities teenagers will get an experience they never dreamed possible: driving a Polaris ATV through the woods.
The fun will happen this summer at Salvation Army Northwoods Camp in Finlayson, Minn., where hundreds of children come to enjoy outdoors activities, music, campfires, and learning about God.
The ATV program is for kids ages 13 older. Before hitting the trails on a supervised ride, each rider must attend a four-hour safety class.
Northwoods Camp staff members are excited to teach the classes and take the teenagers out for a spin.
“The kids love the ATVs – most of them have never ridden one before,” said Jim Cederstrom, Northwoods Camp director, one of four ATV Safety Institute-certified riding instructors on staff.
Indeed, many campers come from urban areas and haven’t experienced the thrill of twisting the throttle of an ATV or leaning into a turn.
“The kids light up when they get a chance to ride,” said Captain Michael Cho, Youth Secretary for The Salvation Army Northern Division. “More than anything, there is so much value in teaching the kids about safety. It ends up applying to other areas of their lives, such as driving a car, or yielding to other people. There are a lot of important life lessons that can be learned from riding an ATV.”
Polaris gives back
The ATV program would not be possible without Polaris, which graciously donated 19 brand-new ATVs to Northwoods Camp. The Minnesota-based powersports company also pitched in helmets, gloves, chest protectors, and other safety equipment.
“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,” Polaris CEO Scott Wine said at the time of the donation.
Polaris supports The Salvation Army in many other ways – especially during times of disaster. The company has donated dozens of off-road vehicles, pallets of generators, and large amounts of cash to support The Salvation Army’s relief efforts following tornados, hurricanes, and other disasters.
The Salvation Army Northern Division pledges to do the most good with your gifts of time and money, with 81 cents of every dollar going directly to services. Join us by volunteering or making a donation to support your local community. Stay current on how The Salvation Army is changing lives in Minnesota and North Dakota by signing up for our e-Newsletters.