Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

June 18, 2013

Local WinShape camp gaining steam

Sports, art, Bible study among activities at July 1-5 event

Mark Maynard
The Independent

RUSSELL — The WinShape Camps for Communities at Bridges Christian Church the first week of July are starting to draw considerable buzz.

The Ashland area is one of 72 communities in the country to offer the day camp, which came from the vision of Chick-fil-A founder Truett S. Cathy. The original camp has been taking place in Mount Berry, Ga., for 25 years, but this is the sixth year the camps have traveled to communities.

Steve Barfield, the operater of the Ashland Chick-fil-A, was instrumental in having the boys and girls day camp come here for the week. Bridges will provide the site for the camp, which will be manned by a team of college and post-college-age students hand-selected and trained for the job.

The goal is to have at least 300 campers, and Dan Bartlett of Bridges said they expect to reach that mark and hopefully more.

“We’ve passed the minimum quota we needed to have and tons of people are saying they’re going to sign up,” he said. “They can register up until the day of the event or even the Tuesday of that week. WinShape won’t turn anybody away.”

The camp is normally $189 per camper, but organizers knocked off $50 because it’s a prime family vacation week. And Bridges knocked off another $40 with scholarship money through community support groups. That makes the final cost only $99 for campers.

The camp, which is for those who have completed first grade through sixth grade, will offer sports, art, worship, Bible study, recreation and music. It will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily; campers are expected to pack a lunch each day. The church is at 1402 Kenwood Drive.

“From going from the first week in January where no one knew about it until now, we’ve done a great deal of creating that buzz,” Bartlett said.

He said the schools, particularly those in Greenup County, have been supportive and put the message out to students.

“We really appreciate them (schools). They (students) will have an unbelievable camp experience right here at home,” he said.

The price is right, Bartlett said. “It’s cheaper than day care. I know, I have two kids in day care myself.”

Bridges is only supplying the venue, Bartlett said. WinShape will bring in its own team of workers and counselors.

In May, Barfield said it was his desire to have 500 campers.

“No community has ever hit 500 and we want to be the first. We’ll hopefully be pulling in kids from all over the Tri-State. They don’t have to be kids that just live in Ashland. We think we have a shot.”

The camp has been in the works since last summer when a group went to Lexington for a WinShape camp and spoke with organizers, Barfield said. That set the vision in place for this summer’s event in Ashland.

Instead of seeing Summer Motion as an obstacle, Barfield hopes to use it as a benefit.

“With Summer Motion, a lot of people will be in town,” he said. “They can take their kids to a world-class camp during the day and go to Summer Motion for a great time that evening. It could be a great experience.”

For more information, call the church at (606) 836-8944.

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.