Local organization builds local youths' character with free camp
One local organization is building character one game at a time. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes camp is going on at gyms, courts, and fields all over Dothan.
About a hundred middle schoolers came to one football camp. For FCA, it means more than learning to pass and catch; it's a chance to share the love of Jesus Christ.
"Hard work, desire, dedication," said Christian Peterson, camper.
Christian Peterson and everyone at the camp came to tackle their football skills but this is more than just a sport.
"Yeah it's hot, but we are teaching them to work through it and be encouragers for those who feel like they can't push through," said Mike Phares. FCA Area Director.
And for Phares. It's a lesson that lasts.
"Sports is life changing, it will carry on into your life, we try and develop emotionally, mentally, socially and spiritually," said Phares.
Grant Baker is new to the FCA camp and already knows it takes more than skill to be a leader.
"You got to be a godly person and help others up when they aren't doing so well and set an example for other players,” said Baker.
As well as a place to turn when facing a crisis.
"A lot of kids turn to other things, like alcohol, drugs, and sex but what we are offering is something that is a lot bigger than that. It's more than just a temporary fix that you have to continuously feed," said Phares.
Rehoboth Football Coach Donny Gillilan has been coaching kids at the FCA camp for years - mentoring now and in the future.
“It's a lot of fun. the best thing about it is I see guys from three years ago. They are still coming and they are still playing and getting better and we still get to interact with them. They will call me up and tell me ‘hey coach I have a middle school game can you come watch’ Just the contact you make and get to keep," said Gillilan.
Also mentors, from another faith-based student group, Wired, led a devotional.
"I hope it's a life-changing experience," said Phares.
Football at Rip Hewes Stadium wasn't the only place for camp. Girls could play volleyball, basketball, cheerleading, and soccer at Houston Academy. The softball camp was held at Providence Christian School. And boys could play soccer, basketball, and baseball at Dothan Prep.
Area Director Mike Phares says anyone who still wants to join can just show up at any location at ten in the morning. The camps go on all week. They are free.