Conducting a sports camp is an ideal way to build relationships in the community and connect with kids and their parents.
This free camp is designed for boys and girls, age 9-13, and is geared toward beginners, though others are welcome to attend. It usually runs for one week, Monday through Thursday, from 8:30-11:30 a.m.
We teach basic fundamentals and use practical drills (no games). The last 15 minutes of each day, we talk to the children about Christ and tie in spiritual lessons that they can learn from playing sports—such as positive sportsmanlike behavior, teamwork, and making good decisions. Parents are invited to stay for all sessions if they'd like.
In order for this camp to net the most benefit, follow-up plans are essential and should be a part of the overall program. This way the friendships that have been made during the sports camp can be continued.
We recommend that a graduation program be held within a week or so of the camp ending. Every church chooses to celebrate in their own way. For instance, the Thomasville church in Georgia took pictures and video footage of their camp and prepared a DVD program that they showed at their graduation ceremony and then gave a copy of it to each student. Parents were also invited to a health fair that had been planned a short time after the graduation.
The church in Conyers, Ga., conducted a basketball camp to utilize their gymnasium and connect with their community. John Strickland, pastor, gave the following report: “The Conyers church has just completed one of the most exciting ‘evangelistic events’ we have ever experienced. We had more than 175 visitors who attended our church for the first time.” He said some had never been in an Adventist church. They followed up their graduation ceremony with Vacation Bible School and a plan to visit each student and his/her family in their home.
Follow-up is key to keeping in touch with the friends made at the sports camp!
For more information, contact E. W. Dempsey's office at 706-629-7951, ext. 348.