School may be out for the summer, but this week, Enterprise High School is hosting a younger crowd for the 2019 WinShape Camp for Kindergarten through sixth grade students.
Created in 1985 by Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy, WinShape Camps provide young students with opportunities to have fun, get active, and learn more about fostering relationships with each other and with Christ. The camps are run by teams from WinShape and volunteers from area churches, and thanks to contributions from area donors, Chick-fil-A and other participating organizations have been able to provide approximately $42,000 in scholarships this year for children to attend the camps for free or at a reduced cost.
This year, more than 400 children were treated to four and a half days of activities, including archery, basketball, flag football, baseball/softball, “Wacky Science,” dance, “Fast Food,” and “Under Construction” among many others. Students also had time for devotional activities and small group time, where they learned about their Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
WinShape Camp Host Director Debora Chilson said that additional “Skills” were added to the camp this year, including “Splish Splash,” an outdoor water activity that the kids have thoroughly enjoyed.
According to Chilson, other changes to WinShape this year included the addition of Kindergarten-age campers and alterations to WinShape’s “Galaxy Camp,” a camp opportunity for seventh through eighth grade students.
“The biggest thing was adding Kindergarten, so having kids that are just finishing Kindergarten and going into first grade is completely new for WinShape,” said Chilson. “We also adjusted some of the older skills. What used to be Galaxy last year was seventh, eighth and ninth graders, and it’s now just seventh and eighth graders -- the ninth graders are just here volunteering, and they’ve actually been a phenomenal addition to our volunteer team. A lot of them have been attending the camp so they’re familiar with it, and they have a lot of energy and they’re really good with the kids. It’s been a unique thing.”
Chilson said WinShape Camp is an important experience for both the attending children and the staff, providing opportunities for fellowship and spiritual growth.
“I think it’s important that they’re seeing Christ and God in everything,” Chilson said. “The kids out there playing, they’re hanging out with us in the lunchroom, and being able to see that in other adults… A lot of these kids don’t have that in their lives, so to be able to walk away with that is awesome.
“I think it’s the same for adults too -- I know from a staff perspective the team gets a lot. My daughter is a staffer and I’ve watched her. They get a lot of experience for life in general, but having those connections with the kids is good for them too. It’s good for the community. It brings our communities together. WinShape is meant to be a community event, not just a particular church or a particular business, so we pull multiple churches together. It’s about building that strong community.”
Chilson and WinShape Camps thanked Enterprise City Schools for allowing the camp to be held at Enterprise High School free of charge.