Monday, July 15, 2013
The outreach ministry at Sandridge First Baptist Church in rural Berkeley County came up with a unique way of connecting with kids this summer: Combine a weeklong sports and activities camp with Vacation Bible School.
Sandridge interim pastor Woodrow Busch said, “We’ve had good success doing sports camps and thought this would be a great opportunity to bring a sports camp and vacation Bible school to the community center since there are already kids there.”
Sandridge teamed with the local outreach organization M-Fuge Mission to hold the camp and VBS.
According to its website at www.lifeway.com, the FUGE mission camps have been providing outreach programs to America’s youth for more than 30 years, reaching more than 1 million young adults.
“M-Fuge Mission teams from the Southeast U.S. came and stayed at Charleston Southern University for a week, engaging in mission projects throughout the Lowcountry,” Busch said. “They came in and painted the building and did some repairs that will allow us to continue to use the facility for future camps, plus it allows the building to become more of a community center.”
The camp was held at the Tri-Community Center, the old Poplar Hill Elementary School on Poplar Hill Drive.
“This is an outreach program within the community and we’ve been very pleased with the results,” Busch said of the sports camp/VBS attended by 45-to-50 community youth for the weeklong camp.
Activities provided were cheerleading, T-ball, soccer and basketball.
“This is our first year of the camp,” Busch said. “We had various coaches on hand to teach the kids the fundamentals of the different sports.”
After lunch, kids were invited to stay the afternoon for Vacation Bible School. “We had an excellent turnout of kids who decided to stay and spend the afternoon at Bible School,” Busch said.
Activities provided included music, Bible stories and crafts.
Volunteers from Sandridge First Baptist and from Ebenezer Zion AME Church in Cross, assisted in serving lunch and providing chaperones for the camp and VBS.
Camp coordinator Linda Harkins called the week a success.
“We were really pleased with the turnout and the volunteers and the cooperation with folks doing the federal feeding program,” she said. “We wanted this to be a community event, not just a Sandridge function.
“We’ve been very pleased with the camp. It’s worked out well.
The camp/VBS was the product of the Screven Baptist Association, which consists of more than 60 Baptist churches in the Lowcountry area, from Charleston, to Dorchester and Berkeley counties. Mission work included the upgrading and refurbishing of the old Poplar Hill Elementary School to make it a more usable and functional facility for the community. Efforts included painting, minor repair, maintenance upkeep and landscaping.
“I think it was a wonderful project,” she said. “We decided our mission project for this year was to improve the facility and help conduct this camp. We feel the camp was a real good success for the kids and not only that a great success for the community.
“We feel this is the first of many such projects down the road. We’re already talking about doing this again next year.”