Digital Exclusive: The Salvation Army purchases Camp Goodwill

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SOUTH SIOUX CITY, Neb. (KCAU) – There is a change of ownership to Camp Goodwill.

Goodwill of the Great Plains announced that The Salvation Army Western Division purchased the camp on Wednesday afternoon.

KCAU 9 Digital spoke with Major Poppy Thompson of The Salvation Army, about the recent purchase.

“It feels good. We have actually known since about mid-December. That’s when things were finalized at our office in Chicago and then we received word back [in Siouxland] that this was actually going to happen, after many months of paperwork and wheels turning. So, it feels good, almost unbelievable or surreal, to have this day actually happening and we can talk about it,” said Major Poppy Thompson.

Goodwill of the Great Plains President and CEO John Hantla, spoke about Goodwill’s reaction to the purchase, during the press conference Wednesday.

“Really excited to be able to pass over the camp. So that for the next 89 years or longer, this camp can go forward and serve thousands of Siouxland and area youths,” said Hantla.

The Salvation Army and Goodwill of the Great Plain both agreed that the transition of ownership will be seamless.

Camp Goodwill has been around since 1927 and Goodwill of the Great Plains made the decision a few years ago to focus on their core mission of helping people overcome challenges to build skills, find jobs, support their families, and feel the satisfaction that comes from working.

It took The Salvation Army six months to buy the camp for $1.99 million.

The money came from the insurance claim money at their old camp, Gene Eppley Camp, in Bellevue, Neb., that was flooded in early 2019.

But for Camp Goodwill, it’s history will still be there along with a memorial wall of The Salvation Army’s former camp.

“This is still going to have a Goodwill feel to it. We want people to feel the Goodwill legacy, if you will, along with The Salvation Army’s new beginning,” said Major Thompson.

Goodwill was looking for a buyer that would focus on youth programming and would continue to keep the camp going.

“They’re going, I think, take this camp to the next level. It’s going to be really impactful with serving a lot more people,” said Hantla.

The camp will be year-round and The Salvation Army plans to have an open house when there is nicer weather outside.

For more information, go to The Salvation Army’s website.

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