Saturday, June 30, 2012

Sports Camp 2012

This past week I spent my nights volunteering at our church's sports camp.  Every year my church hosts a 5 day long sports camp for the community to share the love of Jesus and sports with children.  I have been a head coach for the last 3 years and this year I was able to take a step back and volunteer as a team mom for football.  It was fun to volunteer without being in charge of a group of kids.  I was able to spend more time talking to kids about Jesus, answer some tough questions from the youth volunteers and got to know the other coaches. 

Sports Camp runs from about 5-9 pm from Sunday through Thursday and allowing kids to pick one sport or activity to participate in all week long.  Matt picked hockey for his 3rd year in a row and Jake participated in art.  Each night the kids come back to the sanctuary for a pep rally and a guest speaker.  The speakers are usually competitive athletes that are followers of Christ. 

The first night of camp we had Tropical Storm Debby rain down on the Tampa Bay area but sports camp went off as planned.  Attendance was down for the first night which was a shame because the speaker for Sunday night was great.  Eighteen year old Austin Gutwein came to speak to the kids about serving God and not letting one's age get in the way.  At the age of 9, Austen decided to help raise money for AIDS in Africa by shooting basketballs.  He started an organization called "Hoops for Hope" and has raised over 1 million dollars for his cause.  He also wrote a book called "Take your Best Shot" which we bought at camp.  My oldest, Matt and I have been reading it together.  It is a great book especially for anyone who wants to go and do something beyond yourself by help others. 

Monday and Tuesday night speakers were both physically challenged athletes.  David Prince lost his leg in his late teens in a motorcycle accident.  He didn't let the loss of his limb stop him- he decided to make some positive changes in his life and is now a competitive runner.  He runs the 400 m dash and won the gold in the 2011 Parapan Olympic games.  Michael Atherton lost both legs and one arm when he involved in a boat explosion in the Tampa Bay area in 2009.  He was a competitive water skier prior to the accident and has gotten back into it despite his physical limitations.  Both speakers were followers of Christ and spoke about how God has worked in their lives in the midst of tragedies.

Wednesday night speaker was Asif Shaikh.  Asif is a friend of our family- Asif and his wife, Leah live in the Lutz area and their daughters go to school with my kids.  Asif and Leah are missionaries to the students at University of South Florida- GO Bulls!  He recently came back from the US Olympic Track & Field trials in Oregon (he bought me back some compression socks!) and is heading to the Olympics in London in a few weeks.  He is going to the Olympics as a chaplain.  Asif bought a friend with him to the camp- he bought a USF Bulls basketball player, Jordan, who loves the Lord AND is 7'3". 
7'3" Jordan signing autographs

Matt & Jake with Jordan

Kids with Asif Shaikh- Go Team USA

Thursday night wrapped up with lots of singing and praising the Lord.  Parents joined the celebration as Sports Camp 2012 came to an end.  Mr. Bryce gave out these great sunglasses as a reminder for the kids that they are "good to go" and serve the Lord. 

Pep Rally on Thursday night

Matt & Jake with cool shades & Miss Julie
My boys had a great week and I did too! 

Boys are ready for fun!

Good times with friends

Looking forward to Sports Camp 2013.


  1. This is so cool. I am happy to see little kids aware in this kind of sport. Thank you for providing such a nice blog. Keep it up.

    1. Thanks for your kind words. They came at the best time-feeling a little doubtful about my blog and its content. Thanks for taking time to encourage me!