For 60 years, FCA camps have helped young athletes reach their full potential both on and off the field.
Beyond soccer skills or baseball basics, Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Camps aim for eternal impact as well. Students’ athletic skills are built through training and competition through FCA Camps. They are also taught life lessons that help them grow closer to Christ.
For more than six decades, FCA has focused on building up coaches and athletes around the world through its successful and impactful Camps program each summer. Those who love both sports and Christ can choose from seven different types of camps that serve as a time of “inspiration and perspiration” for coaches, athletes and teams.
Two of the camp settings—Sports Camps and Power Camps—focus on intense training in a specific sport, which help young athletes not only improve their game, but their everyday interactions as well.
Jimmy Page, FCA’s Vice President of Field Ministry for the Mid-Atlantic Region, knows firsthand, as both an FCA leader and a parent, how Sports Camps and Power Camps impact young athletes. All four of his children have attended FCA Camps, and he’s watched their faith grow as they learned to compete for God’s glory.
“While athletics is at the core of what we do, FCA Camps focus on so much more than sports,” Page said. “Through camps, FCA helps young athletes fulfill their potential both on and off the field. By introducing them to Christ through the sports they love, we see true life change.”
“What a testimony to see a young person impacted for Christ early in life so they might not experience the heartache many face without Jesus,” Page said.
In the Mid-Atlantic Region, which covers Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C., the longtime FCA leader expects about 5,000 coaches and athletes to be a part of 33 FCA Camps across those states. New to the Mid-Atlantic Region this year is a wrestling Camp in York, Pa., and other Camps are experiencing growth as well.
Sports Camps specifically focus on “Training the Total Athlete” and develop athletes mentally, physically and spiritually. Sports Camps are for athletes and coaches who want to develop their athletic skills through outstanding instruction, skill development and intense competition.
Power Camps develop young athletes in their faith and their sport. Power Camps are typically for young athletes ages 8 to 12 who want to develop their sports skills. These Camps provide excellent instruction and competition through sports-specific and multi-sport focus, and are normally day Camps that involve the local community.
FCA Camps truly change lives, as evidenced by the feedback of campers year after year:
- “FCA Camp really showed me to just keep an everlasting relationship with the Lord, because He’s always gonna be there even when you feel no one else is.”
- “FCA Camp definitely influenced my life to love and follow Jesus Christ with an ‘all in’ commitment.”
- “The [camp] experience was life-changing, and I made life-long Christian friends. I had such a great time that I didn’t want to leave. Going to camp was the most rewarding experience I’ve ever had. I grew stronger in my relationship with Christ, and I cannot wait to share the gospel with my peers.”
- “Because of FCA Camp, I now know that simply praying to God isn’t enough. In order to have a relationship with Him, I need to connect with Him through scripture, accountable people and prayer.”
FCA’s 2017 Camps theme is “ONE,” based on the Bible verse Philippians 1:27: “… I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News” (NLT).
In 2016, FCA’s Camps ministry experienced a record-breaking year, with a total attendance of 106,000 at 720 Camps in 40 states and 45 countries. The 2016 attendance was an increase of more than 10,000 over 2015.
In the next few weeks, hundreds of Camps all around the world will reach more than 100,000 participants again.
According to FCA, they take the best attributes of both athletic- and spiritual-focused camp events and combine them into an athletic/spiritual experience. The camps also remove athletes and coaches from the rut and routine of their sport, friends/co-workers and community, and place them into an exciting, healthy, athletic environment that allows them to pursue their passion for sport and clearly see and hear the Christ’s passion for them.
Besides Sports Camps and Power Camps, other types of FCA camps include:
- Coaches Camps challenge coaches in their faith and family life, and allow coaches to be spiritually, relationally and professionally refreshed. Coaches Camps are for single and married coaches and their families and are designed to minister, to equip and to encourage. FCA camps minister to coaches through Bible studies, small groups, fellowship, prayer support, discipleship and mentoring.
- Leadership Camps train athletes to be spiritual leaders in their personal lives, on their teams and on their campuses. These camps are geared toward student-athletes, FCA Huddle Coaches and volunteers who serve as leaders. Camps focus on teaching practical skills for Christian growth, developing as an effective leader and preparing for FCA Huddle ministry.
- Partnership Camps work with other ministries and organizations in sports ministry. At Partnership Camps, FCA develops a relationship with an existing camp to provide the spiritual program and/or the athletic aspect. This can include FCA camp curriculum, FCA resources, speakers, Huddle meetings and staff.
- Team Camps equip teams with spiritual principles through competition and are designed to impact coaches and athletes for Christ through team competition. Coaches enroll their players to attend this camp as a team. Team Camps are a wonderful outreach opportunity, and coaches benefit greatly by evaluating their team’s talent. Team Camps serve the coaches by providing an incredible camp experience for their players while building team unity.
- International Camps focus on worldwide impact and reach coaches and athletes around the globe.
To find camps in specific areas or to inquire about volunteering or attending an FCA camp, visit www.fcacamps.org. For more information about the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, visit FCA’s web site at www.fca.org.
For information on FCA camps in Southern California go to www.sandiegofca.org
— by CNJ staff