It is not just about sports or about Jesus, but a little bit of both. That is the message that organizers of the Mega Sports Camp at the Lighthouse Fellowship of Milaca wish to share about what happened last week.
Lighthouse Fellowship hosted 72 kids at the week-long event that went on from 9 a.m. to noon each day from June 16-20.
“It’s kind of a mixture of playing sports, having fun and getting them out in the game, and also presenting them with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and who He is,” said Marcia Sansteby, who was one of the leaders of the camp. “We try to do it in a fun way with songs, energetic people and a mascot.”
The mascot was “Mega,” a silent character that helped train the kids in how to be better athletes with God’s help.
“I think they have a lot of fun trying to find out who I am,” said Matt Cluraghty, who was Mega. “I think it’s pretty obvious, but they have a fun time.”
Pastor Robben Gitzel of Lighthouse Fellowship said they decided to host the camp, which was created by the Assemblies of God church in 2005, which Lighthouse Fellowship is a part of, to try and reach out to the community.
“We were just trying to offer something different for the community, to let them know we care about them,” Gitzel said. “The parents have been appreciative, and a couple have said, ‘hey thank you for doing this for the community.’”
After kids arrived and registered, they had a morning rally, which included a daily lesson, a song or two and some warm-up exercises. Soon after that the kids hit the field for their favorite activities including baseball/softball, basketball and soccer. The kids also received prizes, candy and other goodies for being good campers.
“The kids have been pretty excited about it,” said Juletta Smith, another of the leaders. She also said that of the 72 kids who signed up, only about 25 are members of Lighthouse Fellowship, which means the majority are other kids from the community.
Sansteby said that they found the idea from Princeton’s New Life Church, who has been using the program for years. Gitzel had also done the program at a previous church he had been pastor of.
All of the leaders of the camp agreed that they hope to bring the program back next year, and believed that it was a big success.