Flames NewsFlames Home > News
Four-Day Camp Aims to Change Lives
Liberty Academic Affairs for Athletics' Student-Athlete Development and Dream Again Life are teaming together to conduct a four-day camp next week, Monday through Thursday, at Lynchburg City Schools' R.S. Payne Elementary School. Entitled "Keep it Moving with Character," the community outreach event runs from noon to 3 p.m. each day and culminates with a carnival on Thursday afternoon.
"We've done several summer camps before—sports camps and regular camps," commented Liberty assistant track & field coach Andrew "Pete" McFadden, who is directing the camp. "The camps give kids a place to go in the summer so they won't be just sitting at home playing video games. We'll try to work on social skills for interaction with the public and help them stay in tune with education while the summer is going on."
Approximately 40 students will take part in a variety of activities and games through the week, including interacting with Liberty student-athletes at sport stations such as football, basketball and track. Team building will also be focused on through different game scenarios, helping the students develop skills to work together. Each day will feature a daily principle, upon which the individual activities will revolve around.
"The first three days will all be the same, rotating groups through stations and bringing in different speakers," continued McFadden. "We'll have a counselor speaking, Brittany Campbell from the women's basketball team and coach Mike Minter from football—on three different days. They each have been given a topic to speak on, like goal setting, respect and character, determination and dedication."
As McFadden points out, each activity during the week will serve a purpose to help the participants grow in different areas. "The biggest thing we want to be working on throughout is building character at every station. Kids love sports, so we'll show them how to build character through sports—how to work together, how to be a team player, how to work through adversity."
Thursday's carnival will conclude the camp, when kids will get to play additional games before final participation and special awards are given out—ranging from hard worker and team player to best smile. The week-ending celebration will take place from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and the kids' families are invited to share with the experience.
"We're also going to bring families in, to give them the opportunity to share and be a part of what we're doing, so they can see what the kids are involved in, added McFadden."
A big part of the camp will be the support staff, which will include a host of Liberty student-athletes.
"With this camp, we're looking forward to bringing something back to the community and really reaching out," stated Lauren Mosley, a former Liberty track & field student-athlete who is completing an internship with Liberty Academic Affairs for Athletics this summer. "Coach McFadden really wants to give back to the community. He has a love and heart for the youth, and wants to make an impact on each and every one of these kids' lives."
The event is being supported through funds raised at last fall's Volleyball-A-Thon, which was put on for Liberty students by Liberty Academic Affairs for Athletics and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.). In just its second year, the Volleyball-A-Thon attracted 44 teams and raised $3,000, which has helped Liberty Athletics' continued effort to be active in the community.
"Throughout the past semesters, both the fall and the spring, the Liberty Athletics Department has been working with different elementary schools in Lynchburg and the goal is to make an impact on the community," remarked Mosley. "Working with Payne Elementary is another great step."
McFadden has great plans for the event, hoping it leaves a lasting impression on the kids' lives.
"My goal is for this to be a life-changing event. I told the staff that is going to be working the camp, that I want them to believe this is a camp that kids will look back at 10-15 years from now, and be able to say, ‘This is the camp that changed my life, these people really care, these people really support and these people really want to be a part of my life.'"