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Liberty student-athletes give back at summer camp for area youth

June 28, 2012 : By BJ Williams/Liberty University News Service & Liberty Athletics

Flames Football student-athlete Aldreakis Allen plays with students at the 'Keep it Moving With Character' Carnival on Thursday. Video highlights from the week are available at www.libertyflames.com.

Members of a number of Liberty University Athletics teams partnered with the Dream Again Life Foundation to host the “Keep it Moving With Character” summer day camp this week at R.S. Payne Elementary School in Lynchburg.

The camp, sponsored by Liberty Academic Affairs for Athletics' Student-Athlete Development, is an opportunity for student-athletes to help young people to stay active.

"The camps give kids a place to go in the summer so they won't be just sitting at home playing video games,” said Liberty assistant track and field coach Andrew “Pete” McFadden. “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.”

Liberty Athletics academic coordinator Jessica Lloyd paints faces at the 'Keep It Moving With Character' Carnival on Thursday.

About 40 students interacted with Liberty student-athletes at sport stations such as football, basketball and track. Team building was focused on through different game scenarios. Each day featured a daily principle upon which the individual activities revolved around.

The camp began on Monday and culminated in an awards ceremony on Thursday in the school’s auditorium, followed by a carnival in the gymnasium.

"With this camp, we're looking forward to bringing something back to the community and really reaching out," said former Liberty track athlete Lauren Mosley, who helped organize the camp. The project was part of her summer internship with Liberty Academic Affairs for Athletics.

Many Liberty coaches and athletes, including Brittany Campbell (women’s basketball), Nathan Witkowski (cheerleading) as well as football players Kevin Fogg, Malcolm Boyd, Aldreakis Allen, and Demetrius Ward, volunteered along with Liberty administrator Kristie Beitz.

This is the first of what McFadden hopes will be many camps throughout the city to teach children character values.

"My goal is for this to be a life-changing event,“ he said. “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.'"