Youth Services

The Salvation Army in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky offers out-of-school-time programs to enable families to function successfully by providing quality, nurturing after-school activities for children. Our programs reflect a sensitive, developmentally-responsive approach toward each child as we encourage their journey through childhood. Programs are also available at most locations for teens.

At the West Side Community Center, a special program, The Salvation Army Learning Center, provides day care for infants starting at 6 mos. through pre-school.

The aim of the Youth Development programs is to help children make positive decisions, stimulate creativity and foster independence through after-school programs, summer enrichment and camping experiences.

The objectives of the Youth Development programs are:

  • To provide activities that will help children improve school grades, attendance and social behaviors;
  • To provide a safe and respectful environment where children can build on their unique and individual personal strengths; and
  • To provide opportunities for children to develop life skills and competencies that will enhance healthy development and growth, and improve their future prospects.

After-school and Summer Enrichment programs are offered to children ages 6 to 12 at all of the Salvation Army Community Centers in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. After-school programs run from September through May each year; hours vary by location, so please check with the location nearest you for details.

After-School Program

The After-school program offers the following activities:

  • Tutoring and Homework help
  • Computer literacy
  • Conflict resolution
  • Character training
  • Spiritual development
  • Recreation, arts and crafts

Summer Enrichment/Day Camp

The Summer Enrichment Camps run from June to August each year, Monday thru Friday. Please contact your local Community Center for more information. The Summer Enrichment Camps offer the following:

  • Recreation
  • Field Trips
  • Computer literacy
  • Crafts
  • Spiritual development
  • Academic maintenance

In addition to the After-School and Summer Enrichment programs offered to children ages 6 to 12, programs for teens are also offered. Contact your local center for more details.

Afternoon Meal Programs

In addition to these other youth programs, many of the local Community Centers offer an afternoon meal program for children. For more information, contact the center nearest you.

Storybook Picnic

Launched in 2014, the mission of Storybook Picnic is to enrich children's minds and bodies.  Initially implemented through The Salvation Army Center Hill Community Center during the Summer of 2014, Storybook Picnic went 'in the field' to meet children where they are, distributing free books and a hot lunch to more than 2,000 children during it's inaugural season.

The program utilizes a Salvation Army canteen (mobile feeding truck) to bring hot meals to children in their own neighborhoods.  Hot meals and free, age-appropriate books were distributed by staff and volunteers to those ages 1 to 18.  The launch of the program has been generously funded by local donors with a heart for education. 

Initial response was tremendous within the communities served, with many children expressing great interest in and delight about the books they received.  Going forward, The Salvation Army hopes to expand the Storybook Picnic program into more Tri-State communities starting during the Summer of 2015.


Located in beautiful Oregonia, OH, Camp SWONEKY (Swo-neck-ee) has been the highlight of summer for area youth for 50 years. For many youth, it is their first opportunity to experience the wonders and beauty of nature in a camp setting. But the camp's innovative programming provides much more than a change of scenery. Fun at CampOpportunities for growth -- physical, social, educational and spiritual -- abound throughout each camp session.

Camp SWONEKY's facilities include:

  • Playgrounds
  • Swimming pool
  • Lake for boating and fishing
  • Nature center
  • Craft lodge
  • Ropes course
  • Children's petting farm
  • Basketball courts
  • Baseball/softball fields
  • Campfire amphitheater
  • ...and so much more!

An integral part of the goal of Camp SWONEKY is to help children grow in awareness and knowledge of God. Camp-wide Sunday morning worship services are conducted in addition to daily Morning Discovery and daily cabin devotions.

Camp SWONEKY is licensed by the State of Ohio, accredited by the American Camp Association, and is a member of the Christian Camp and Conference Association.

For more information about Camp SWONEKY, please call 513-762-5600 and ask to speak to the Camp Coordinator, or visit