Elevate Soccer Camp

Many of you are aware that we will be having a soccer camp (called “Elevate”) next week in Allendale. This camp will be all day (8AM – 5 PM), for 1st – 8th grade students, centered mostly around Upward soccer programming, with some other activities added on. Though 62 children are signed up, we know that not all will come every day; we expect to have an average daily attendance of around 50.

Why did we want to do this camp? Mostly because of what we learned after last year’s summer camp program that we led, including many things that surprised us:

  • Students will be on spring break, but many parents are still working, and need something for their kids to do.
  • Children need an outlet to play and socialize, and not just sit around their homes.
  • It will be a great opportunity to build and develop relationships with kids in this community.
  • I particularly enjoy working with young children, and despite the numerous jobs I have, I have had limited opportunity to be hands-on with elementary-age students.
  • We’ll be providing free meals for children, in a county where 96% are on free and reduced lunch.
  • An opportunity for volunteers (local and out-of-town) to serve families in Allendale.

Regarding this last point, I’m excited about the team-oriented atmosphere of this camp. There is no way that Joanna and I could do this alone, or even with just a few other people. We have a number of individuals, families, and organizations that will be playing crucial roles.

  • Allendale County Schools approved the use of their facilities, and is helping coordinate meals.
  • Grace Church is providing some financial support, to reduce the cost burden on the families here.
  • Two staff members from Upward will help direct the program.
  • Two local churches — Vision Ministries and Fairfax First Baptist — will be provided places for the out-of-town volunteers to stay.
  • Two cafeteria workers will be preparing the food, on a volunteer basis.
  • Breakfast, lunch, and snack are being bought through the school, but we have been looking for financial donors to cover the cost. From local donors, we currently have over half of the $1300 we need.
  • The local 4H / Clemson Extension representative will be doing nutrition instruction and activities every afternoon.
  • USC-Salkehatchie soccer players will come over in between classes to participate. As it is now, there is not much of a connection with between Salk and the school district, to the best of my knowledge.
  • At least 4 other local community members will be volunteering on multiple days.
  • A group of high school students from Grace Church will be leading at the camp all week. Most of them have been to Allendale before, and have been eager to get back. (They are even sacrificing their entire spring break to be here!)
  • About 10 adults from Grace are each serving for half of the week. I love that Greenville’s and Allendale’s spring breaks matched up!
  • About 15 children from these Grace families will be in the camp, giving them a chance to meet and be friends with their peers in Allendale.

What an amazing list of people who will be having a direct impact in this community! We’re thankful for every one of them.

Even if you cannot be here, you can play a huge part for praying for this camp. Here are 3 specific things you can pray for:

  1. For the gospel to be clearly made known through words and deeds.
  2. For safety during the camp, and for safe travel for those coming from Greenville.
  3. For all the logistics to work out smoothly (with meals, facilities, extra activities, etc).

Edit:  You can read about how we saw God’s blessings in this camp.

Questions or thoughts? Leave a comment below or contact me.

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