“It’s great to see all of the churches come together as one,” Camp Coordinator Pearl Daniel said.
The WinShape Community Camp, Rome hosted over 400 kids from this past week at Pleasant Valley North Baptist Church for the second year and featured archery, gymnastics, wacky science and Bible-based daily lessons. The was sponsored by several local churches and businesses, Daniel said.
“My main stress point is that it is a community camp that is here in Rome to reach children throughout Northwest Georgia about the message of Christ,” PVN Pastor Eric Hall said.
Just over 20 local elementary, middle and home schools were represented at the camp, which ran every day concluding with Family Fun Day on Friday. The cost of the camp is $169 per child, but Daniel said scholarships were awarded based on need.
Scholarships come from community sponsors and donors, she said. Eventually the Rome Community Camps would like to offer the yearly summer program at a discount or at no charge, and hopes to get there through more partners.
“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if anyone who wanted their children to have a camp experience to have it paid for either at a discount or completely?” she asked.
The Rome Community Camps works in conjunction with WinShape Camps for Communities, Daniel said, and the WinShape team is mainly responsible for the setup, breakdown and day-to-day running of the camp. When the WinShape team is done with one camp, they pack up and move to the next city to start it all over again, she said.
The rest of the crew who manages the camp are made of of volunteers from different churches in the area. The volunteers took time off work and churches pooled their resources to make this happen, she said.
That, plus the diversity of the kids who attend the church, is among her favorite things about the camp.
“This camp brings all parts of our community together, all the schools, any income group, all backgrounds,” Dawn Therber, volunteer coordinator, said.
“That’s the church,” Daniel said.
Volunteers all wore orange shirts with their church listed on their name tag. Volunteers from Calvary Baptist, West Rome Baptist, Cornerstone Church and Pleasant Valley North could be seen leading campers from one location to the next during the day.
The volunteers also served the WinShape staff who were in town for the camp. A group of volunteers took bags of laundry from the camp staff to a laundromat and washed it for them, Daniel said.
Bible based lessons are another reason Daniel is passionate about the camp. It is one thing to get just kids hyped up and jumping around, there needs to be a purpose behind it.
Looking into next year’s camp, Daniel, as well as Matthew Myers who sits on the community camps board, said the program is looking to expand. Myers said they are potentially look for a larger area to hold all of the campers and he would hate to see all of the kids broken up into two weeks. Splitting the camps up into separate sessions is also another option the camp board is considering, however no decision has been made yet.
For more information on the WinShape Community Camp, Rome visit www.romecamps.org.