Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

June 19, 2014

High-energy WinShape Camp 2 weeks away

RUSSELL — In just two short weeks, children of the Tri-State area will have the opportunity to experience “the best week ever.”

This marks the second year a WinShape day camp has taken place at the Bridges Christian Church in Russell. Last year more than 250 children gathered to join the fun.

WinShape Camps for the Communities are weeklong day camp experiences for campers that have completed grades first through sixth. The camp takes place June 30 through July 4.

WinShape 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 seventh year the camps have traveled to communities.

Kevin Fraley of Bridges Christian Church said, as of now, they have around 220 children registered for the camp, despite it taking place during the week of the Fourth of July.

“That number changes daily, so I could even be behind,” he said. “We are actually using the festive week to our advantage.”

According to Fraley, there is no set day a camper has to be registered.

“Kids can register even two or three days into camp, the only way (WinShape) wouldn't take kids is if they had already reached the max number of campers.”

The maximum number of campers they can accept is 500.

Every child is encouraged to bring a lunch. The church will supply campers with healthy snacks throughout the day and keep them hydrated.

The children can choose to learn different skills such as archery, basketball, cheerleading, wacky science, musical theater and more.

“When they apply, the kids are able to choose up to six skills they would like to learn,” Fraley said. “But they will only be assigned to three. The others are backups.”

Along with the skills, the children are also able to participate in outdoor activities, crafts, bible studies and worship, recreation, music and several games throughout the  week. Most activities will be organized by age.

According to Fraley, as soon as campers hit the parking lot at 7:45 a.m., the excitement begins.

“Greeters open the doors for kids, and they’re swamped by WinShape staff members and volunteers. They even have games for them as they wait to go inside,” he said.

Parents will pick up their children at 5 p.m., after the long day of activities.

WinShape sends a 24-man team of college and post-college-age students, who are hand selected and trained for the job to the host site to bring the camp together.

“They bring it all,” Fraley said. “They bring trucks that are jam-packed of everything they need for the week.”

Along with the WinShape workers, several individuals from the church itself volunteer to help out.

“We try to have one volunteer for every 10 kids,” Fraley said.

The camp in Russell is one of four that will be taking place in Kentucky. There will also be camps in Lexington, Louisville and Elizabethtown.

“We hope to have 500 campers,” Fraley said. “No one has ever reached 500.”

The price for the camp is $99. For children and families who may not be able to afford this amount, they do offer scholarships.

For more information, call WinShape registration at (800) 448-6955. Or call Fraley at Bridges Christian Church at (606) 836-8944.

“It’s going to be the best week ever,” he said.

MARY ALFORD can be reached at malford@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2657.


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