FCA Kids Camp starts Monday

Published 2:00 am Saturday, June 15, 2013

By Adam Robinson
sports editor

In what has become an event area students look forward to all year, the 8th annual Brewton-area Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Kids Camp  will take place June 17-20 at the T.R. Miller campus.
The FCA Camp is designed to help give children who have completed first through sixth grade an opportunity for a Christian camp that balances athletic competition and character/ integrity development with the message of Jesus Christ.
The theme for the 2013 camp is “Run to the Light” and is based on Psalms 43:3: “Send forth Your light and Your truth, let them guide me; let them bring me to Your holy mountain, to the place where You dwell.”
The camp is staffed by high school athletes and coaches. All students will need to bring a sack lunch each day. Water will be provided.
Randy Winton with Brewton’s First Baptist Church, heads up the camp for the week locally. He had worked a similar camp in Chattanooga, Tenn., for a number of years and after moving to Brewton in 2001 had a vision for the camp here.
“This is a perfect community to do a camp like this,” he said. “Athletics is such a big part of Brewton and its people and the kids who come every year love all aspects of the camp.”
Winton said the camp is two-fold giving kids the opportunity to participate in different sports and learn about the message of Jesus Christ through all aspects of life, but it also gives teens (some who are former FCA Campers) the opportunity to do the right thing and pass that example on to younger kids.
“We have kids who are using gifts they didn’t know they had until they got in a group with sweaty first through sixth graders,” Winton said.“When kids are loved and encouraged and see Christ in those around them, they feel safe and enjoy the experience of FCA Camp. Every kid who walks on this campus for camp should leave with, at the very least, knowing that they matter and that there is a Savior who loves them deeply.”
Huddle leaders are assigned to the age groups during the week and serve as coaches to the kids. The main idea of the camp is  building character and being an example. At the end of the week, each Huddle Group recognizes someone who has exhibited those characteristics taught by the FCA with an award for being its “Camper of the Week.”  The camp ends with the much-anticipated “Wild Tiger Relay.”
Three years ago, the camp started the Jim Hayes Award for the sixth grader who has been an example of the spirit of FCA and all it stands for over his/her years coming to the Brewton FCA Kids Camp.
In 1988, Hayes attended a Fellowship of Christian Athletes sports camp in Black Mountain, N.C. The T.R. Miller football player told his family and friends the camp changed his life. Just two weeks after the camp, Jim was riding his bike in Destin and was killed after he was hit by a car. He was just 16 years old. Jim was the son of Dr. Bob and Ellen Hayes.
The Jim Hayes Award will be given again this year to a sixth-grade camper at the end of the camp. To be eligible for this prestigious award, a sixth grader has to have attended this camp at least three years and exemplified the pillars of being a Christian athlete and what FCA stands for. Steely Ruzic took home the special award last year.
Winton said locally the camp averages 80 kids and it’s growing. It is starting to come full-circle now heading into its sixth year. The local FCA camp is run completely by volunteers who give of their time and effort.
For more information or if you need a camp brochure to register, contact Randy Winton, First Baptist Church youth pastor, at 867-5769 (FBC Brewton) or 363-0429 (cell).