Spring break has arrived and with it comes the question many parents ask themselves every year: “What do we do with our kids?” Have no fear, First Baptist Church in Brownwood has a great program to enroll children in that is good for them both physically and spiritually.
March 11 - 15, they will host their annual Champs Camp, a program that ties together sports and a christ-centered environment.
This year marks Champs Camp’s 10th year giving boys and girls from kindergarten to sixth grade a fun and enjoyable environment, teaching them the art of sports, about christ and a christ-like attitude and helping them cultivate friendships with other local children.
This year’s theme is Duck Dynasty, based on the A&E program which documents the lives of the Robertson family, known primarily for their business, Duck Commander, which produces duck calls. Volunteers and group leaders each have their own duck call and will wear hunters orange and camouflage. FBC even has two members dressed up as iconic characters from Duck Dynasty, Jace and Willie Robertson.
The children are broken into age groups and given a group name. This year’s group names are chosen by the different breeds of ducks in the United States, with the exception of kindergarten, who are named the “rubber ducks.”
Each group of children is monitored by a group of volunteers. Most groups range in size from 5 children to a dozen, the largest group is 28 children. Safety is key to all those who work at Champs Camp. There is a ratio of at most six children to every adult volunteer. In the group of 28 children, there are four adults.
Volunteers who work at the Champs Camp come from all over Texas, and many are college students. Celeste Church, director of Champs Camp, said there were around 30 college students from Texas A&M, 10-12 from the University of Texas of Dallas, 10 from Lamar University and 12 from Howard Payne University for a grand total of just over 60 college volunteers. Volunteers also include the FBC youth group and several other church volunteers.
Church said they have had the largest turnout for volunteers this year then any other year. Most, she said, were college athletes or high school athletes, but there were many who just loved working with kids and were up for anything.
Champs Camp uses Duck Dynasty to illustrate points for the kids. For example, they use the Duck commander as a metaphor for God, who is the Champs Camp commander.
“They are taught what it takes to be a winner in God’s eyes,” said Church.
During Champs Camp, children have a three session sports day. They begin their day with a morning greet and rally and continue to the team huddle, a small group Bible study. Then they are given a warm-up/stretch session and a pick up snack. From there, they proceed to their first session of the day.
At 11:15, the first lunch group eats lunch while the second is given an activity session, which includes crafts like making GAK. The two switch out at 11:50 a.m. they then proceed to their second activity. At around 2 p.m. they are given a snack and then continue to their third activity. At 3:15 they return to the First Baptist church building for a team huddle and from 4:15 - 5 p.m. there is an afternoon rally.
Sports at Champs Camp include soccer, volleyball, football and basketball. There are also art activities and movie viewings.
On Thursday night, Champs Camp will host a parents night beginning when parents would typically pick up their children.
There have been around 140 kids registered for Champs Camp so far, but that doesn’t mean there will not be more. Champs Camp is open all week and can be joined anytime in the next four days.
“We’ll be here through Friday and they are more than welcomed to join us at anytime,” said Church.
Parents can bring their children to FBC and register them that morning. Children are asked to bring a lunch and athletic shoes to camp each day. Camp lasts from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The cost of camp for one child is $68 and $63 for each additional child.
For more information, visit www.fbcbrownwood.org or call (325) 646-8505.