Kids gather for Summer camp at Byne Baptist Church - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Kids gather for Summer camp at Byne Baptist Church

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By Jay Polk - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – When school lets out and the thermometer rises... summer camps become a familiar destination for many South Georgians.

Like Larry Wilson, an Albany elementary schooler.  What grade is he in?

"Fourth grade, going into fifth," he said.

Like most kids his age, he has plenty of free time this summer, so this week, he joined more than 100 other kids from around the area at Byne Memorial Baptist Church.  Of course, summer camp means plenty of time for things that you can't get away with in school.  Things like cheering and shouting.

But there's something else going on here as well.  While play is the cornerstone of Summer camps, the kids in this camp are learning lessons as well.

The Pastor of Byne Baptist Church Matthew Nance said, "there was a Bible lesson and they did it in such a way that the kids really picked up on it like it was a text message on a phone."

The camp may have been held at Byne, but it was a co-operative effort between multiple churches.

"Co-operation of at least five churches here in town.  This is a community event," said Pastor Nance.

These camps - known as WinShape camps - are the idea of Chick-Fil-A founder R. Truett Cathy.  They bring in college students to be councilors like Will Marshall, who just graduated from Georgia Tech with a degree in electrical engineering.

While it may seem like a long way from circuits and motherboards, working this camp has given Will the chance to help others before he goes out looking for a job for himself.

"I love the fact that we have kids who don't normally come to church involved in our camps so that they can see that church is a great place to be," he said.

And for the sponsors of all of this fun and education, it's about more than giving away lunches.

Anna Wari of Chick-Fil-A said, "it's an obligation, it's a responsibility and it's a privilege to be able to give back to the community."

So while kids like Larry may tell you that they want to do something else.

"I wish I could sit around and be lazy and watch TV and eat," he said.

In the end, these campers seem to be singing a happy tune.

"Yes, I don't want to be bored," said Wilson.

And Summer camps - no matter where they're held or what the kids are doing - will hopefully keep kids pointed in the right direction.

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