The Youth for Christ soccer camp at Columneetza welcomed 140 kids last week, according to Youth for Christ executive director Corwin Smid.
He said it was an awesome week.
The annual event has been put on for more than 15 years.
“The kids develop some soccer skills, but the main idea is for the kids to play together, make new friends and have fun,” Smid explained.
“It’s very game oriented.”
One of the most unique things about the camp is that the coaches are teenagers.
“Some of them are with Youth Soccer, some are from local churches or kids I know through coaching hockey,” he said.
He added that everybody gets something out of it.
“The kids get a free T-shirt, a soccer ball and snacks every day,” he continued.
“The teens get to give back to the younger kids. They were taught by other teenagers when they were young; now they can pass it on. The younger kids love having the teens here.
“Feedback is great: parents just love their kids coming here hanging out,” he added, “And it’s free to the community.”
Community businesses sponsor the soccer camp.
Each daily session included a lively, fun interactive discussion — something Smid called a God talk.
“This camp is all about the game and the fun but it’s also about Christ, that’s what we’re all about,” he continued.
“We talk about what kind of guy Jesus was: a lover of people and someone who respected all people didn’t matter who you were or where you came from; so we just want to encourage kids to love each other like Christ loves us.
“It’s great to be competitive in sports — I love being competitive, but in the midst of that you can still show respect,” he noted.
“Play as hard as you can, be the best you can be, give all you can but do it respectfully.”