A new group for girls will bring both sunshine and music to Williamsport.
The Salvation Army Sunbeam Program, similar to Scouting programs, is a holistic Christian education experience for girls entering first through fifth grade.
Since Sunbeam was so popular at her previous assignment, Debbie Engel, auxiliary captain of the Salvation Army, wants to bring it to the area, starting with a camp.
The Sunbeam Camp will run from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 6 to 10, with a dinner included. During the week, girls already will start working toward different emblems and skills.
Engel wanted to bring the group to the area because she noticed that unlike "the old days," girls were not learning various skills from their mothers and grandmothers.
"They aren't learning what they need to learn," she said.
During the camp session, girls will work toward athlete, singing and timbrel emblems. They will learn how to play basketball and tennis, warm up their voices, learn basic music theory and music notes.
The instrument they learn on - the timbrel - is similar to a tambourine.
"It's like cheerleading to praise music," Engel said.
The group helps the attendees develop social, decision-making and life skills, as well as character and leadership through a Biblical worldview.
"I want the kids to feel special," she said.
Certificates will be awarded at the 11 a.m. Sunday morning service Aug. 12, where the girls will perform.
Girls can continue attending Sunbeam in the fall each Wednesday evening, starting in September.
Some of the other subject matters in which they try to earn emblems include artistry, computer knowledge, world knowledge and star study.
The camp is limited to 20 girls, with about five spots are reserved at this point. Engel said she likes focusing on a smaller group because it allows for a more personal experience.
There is no fee for the camp. Registration closes by Aug. 4.
While the Sunbeam program is for girls going into first through fifth grade, Engel said she would accept girls going into sixth grade for the camp portion. To register, call 326-9187 ext. 103.
In the future, Engel would like to expand to include both boys and older girls if she can find the help necessary to run the programs.
The program for girls going into sixth through 12th grade is the Girl Guards, which was the original program, founded in London in 1915 and based off the Boy Scouts.
Sunbeam started in 1921 as an offshoot of the Girl Guards. For the boys, the program is called Adventure Corps.
"I don't have any boy leaders," Engel said. "I think it's appropriate for boys to have a male leader."
Ideal leaders would be Christian, love children and pass a background check, she said.