I had the pleasure and honor of serving as a volunteer staff member at the Kutztown Multi-Sport Camp in at Kutztown University this year. I also had the pleasure of bringing my oldest son, Jacob, for his second time and my youngest son, Tommy, for his first time. Jacob chose the baseball camp and Tommy chose the basketball camp.
Last year was my first FCA Camp experience and it was amazing. This year, I held last years’ experience for camp as the benchmark for this years’ experience. I was caught off guard a bit by how different it felt this year and the energy around the camp seemed a little subdued.
That is until the Tuesday night Chapel. Truth was shared, the Spirit moved and many athletes responded. Wednesday morning had a totally different feel to it. The energy level was high and the atmosphere was loose. Kids were laughing together, Huddles were getting familiar with each other and coaches were settled in.
I served all week as a van transport driver for the Field Hockey team who held their workouts at a local high school. Fourteen girls had to be taken to and from the field twice a day. On Wednesday of camp as I was driving the girls to the field, the Lord impressed upon me how precious the cargo was that I had in my van. Again, on Thursday He reminded me that I was carrying His precious cargo. On Friday, the last day, I was blessed to have the opportunity to share with the girls who they were in God’s eyes. It was an awesome week.
My son Jacob, made some great connections and has determined in his heart that he will be a Huddle Leader at Kutztown after he graduates. My son, Tommy, who played basketball among 139 other athletes took a bunch of knocks and bumps that ultimately led to him being nicknamed “The Hustler” because of his tenacity. Between the intensity of the camp, Bible studies and Chapel it was a lot for a 13-year-old to take in but after a couple of days he is very excited to go back next year already.
One of the most powerful things this year were the testimonies each night during chapel. During camp, Huddle Leaders get to know the athletes and hear their stories. Then every now and then, a Huddle Leader hears a testimony of a kid that needs to be heard by his or her peers. This year, I heard about a Huddle Leader who testified how the persistence of God led her out of a gay lifestyle. I heard a young Hindu athlete tell of how she came to Kutztown three years ago for the sport instruction. She got saved the second year and has been living in fear to tell her family because they might disown her. This year, she stood on stage and testified that God has shown her that she has a much greater family in Christ and she is going home to confess to her parents that she is Christian. Another girl was left for dead in an alley in New York during the peak of winter. She woke up in the hospital with the doctors telling her she should not be alive. She gave God the glory and her life to Christ.
There are so many more testimonies to tell but my testimony is this. If you are a coach, you need to volunteer and experience this camp to gain a greater vision for what FCA could look like in Massachusetts. If you are a parent, you need to send your kids to this camp so they can grow in faith and sport and bring this experience back to their schools and their peers. If you are a Pastor, you need to plan to scholarship your kids to this camp. If you are a business owner, you need to work with me to scholarship kids who would not be able to go otherwise. If you are a college athlete, you need to volunteer as a Huddle Leader and be an integral part in the transformation of these kids.
Summertime is camp time at FCA and camps serve as a POWERFUL component within our 4 C’s if Ministry. Camps get athletes excited about FCA Huddles on their school campus and FCA Huddles get the athletes excited for camp.
Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ – to see the world impacted for Jesus Christ through the influence of coaches and athletes.
More information can be found at FCA.org.