By Amanda Hayes
When one thinks of summer in the South, things come to mind such as oppressive humidity, afternoon thunderstorms, long summer days spent by the pool, flip flops, tank tops, and popsicles. Childhood memories may come rushing back about how we bided the long sweltering days and hot sticky nights playing with friends, cousins, and neighbors in whatever cool water source could be found nearby or playing sports with frequent respites in the shade. If you were lucky, you have memories of attending one or more family vacations to nearby lakes, beaches, or mountains. If you were really, really lucky, perhaps you have childhood memories of attending one or more summer camps.
One South Georgia church strives to gift the ultimate childhood summer memories – a few days of “creative teaching, passionate worship, crazy games, and challenging recreation options,” according to GracePointe Baptist Church Children’s Pastor, Archie Rish. And all this excitement has been suitably coined Summergize and takes place in the ultimate outdoor playground in South Georgia, Coffee General State Park.
Seven years ago, leadership at GracePointe had a desire to find a fun and exciting way to introduce children to Jesus. Noting that there was not an overnight camp option in this area, they decided to build their own summer camp from the ground up, using their own creative genius to find locations, plan activities, and enlist many, many volunteers to see their plan come to fruition.
This year, the theme for Summergize 2020 is “Focus,” aligned with GracePointe’s summer children’s curriculum, so that the entire summer will be filled to the brim with lessons on how to “Focus on God” and His plan for each student’s life. Students will “discover how to trust in what they can’t see, because of what they can see,” states Rish. There will be four areas of the Focus curriculum which will include the topics, “Hear,” “Talk,” “Pray,” and “Live.”
Campers will enjoy food and snacks throughout the day at Summergize. There will be an extended day-camp for students 1st through 5th grades; an overnight camp option for students in 3rd through 5th grades; and a junior camp shortened day-camp option for students Pre-Kindergarten through Kindergarten.
Unfortunately for some, Summergize camp registration is already at capacity for 2020 at 215 campers, and there are approximately 30 on the waiting list. Summergize leaders and volunteers are looking forward to creating the ultimate summer camp experience on June 8th – 13th and showing all the campers that they are “FOR Children.”
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