CU summer camps feature 'life change'

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Nearly 150 make first-time decisions for Christ.



Joan C. McKinney

Campbellsville University

"Life change is taking place on the campus of Campbellsville University this summer."

Rusty Watkins, coordinator of summer camps and conferences, said CU hosted 7,007 summer camp participants in 48 groups with 149 first-time decisions for Christ having been made during this summer. And several more have reaffirmed their decision to follow Christ on a daily basis.

Of these camps, 177 churches visited campus from among 18 states, including Kentucky, Tennessee, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia, Louisiana, Kansas, Michigan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

CU hosts several different summer camps that range from basketball, wrestling, softball and football to CentriKids, Kids College, the Kentucky Police Academy, Kentucky Deaf Conference, Fellowship of Christian Athletes Leadership Camp and Kentucky Baptist All-State Youth Choir and Orchestra.

There are 43 high school and junior high sports teams who have or will have been on campus before the summer is over.

"When you stand in the back of the chapel during the evening worship service of CentriKid and watch approximately 600 kids raise their hands in praise, you know that the Lord is doing great things on campus during the summer," Jacqueline Beaty, a senior camp worker from Albany, said.

Kristin King, who graduated in December 2013, echoed Beaty's comments.

"It's so cool to see how God is working through the CentriKid staff to show His love and to share His gospel. I love seeing the children's faces light up because they're having a blast and learning about Jesus," King said.

Joey Bomia, the incoming president of Baptist Campus Ministry, said, "Camps went great this year. Anytime you can get thousands of kids together to have the opportunity to hear the gospel, it becomes a very powerful thing.

"I love being around kids because they bring so much joy and laughter to the world. It's been a blessing to serve all the campers, and my prayer is that they all leave Campbellsville University with a personal relationship with Jesus Christ."

Bomia is a senior from Marion.

Watkins, who has worked with summer camps at CU for 13 years, said he was told: "It does not matter whether Campbellsville is hosting 200 campers or 700 campers, everything runs like clockwork. The Campbellsville University Summer Camp staff is so affirming and accommodating. We love coming to camp at Campbellsville University."

Watkins said a fourth grader came to him and said, "I love Campbellsville University. This is where I am coming to college when I get old."