Children assemble for WinScape day camp on the campus of Asbury United Methodist Church in a photo from the 2013 session. Now accommodating more than 300 children, the program has seen increased enrollment every year, organizers said.(Photo courtesy Wall Highway Baptist Church)
Children assemble for WinScape day camp on the campus of Asbury United Methodist Church in a photo from the 2013 session. Now accommodating more than 300 children, the program has seen increased enrollment every year, organizers said.(Photo courtesy Wall Highway Baptist Church)

Archived Story

Churches Bring Sports, Spies, Scripture at All-Day Day Camp

Published 10:23am Thursday, July 17, 2014

By Charles Molineaux | For The Record

MADISON – Hundreds of children launched a summer camp experience aimed at engagement, energy and faith as WinShape day camp got underway at Asbury United Methodist Church.

“It’s fantastic,” laughed Julie Durling, Asbury’s director of Children’s ministries. “We are able to enjoy the children and we don’t have to do any of the teaching!”

A joint venture of Abury United Methodist, Wall Highway Baptist, CrossPointe and The Brook churches and running from July 21 to 16, WinShape is an all-day day camp for children between first  and sixth grade that offers athletics, bible study and a broad assortment of electives. “That can consist of anything from a cooking class to ‘secret ops,’ to ‘newsroom,’ to lacrosse, to outdoor games,” explained Jim Graham, Children’s pastor at Wall Highway Baptist Church. “It’s a pretty far ranging spectrum.”

“I have two kids, 10 and 12, and they adore it,” exclaimed Rhonda Dahlin, a parent and Asbury’s missions director. “My daughter did ‘secret ops’ one year. They acted like they were spies around campus.”

Now in its third year at Asbury’s campus, WinShape is a creation of Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A, which now sponsors the camp in multiple states. Area parents assist as volunteers but most of the camp’s staff are traveling college and seminary students from across the southeast trained by Winshape, an infusion of young blood Dahlin said can be priceless.

“They have all this energy,” she exclaimed. “Of course to elementary school kids, having these older kids, that’s the coolest thing in the world.”

A week at WinShape costs $196, although financially challenged families can receive scholarships.

“So we’re definitely always on a scholarship hunt,” Graham explained.

The Madison WinShape program has seen its numbers increase annually and now brings in more than 300 children, Graham said. “For the families it does provide a safe avenue for their kids to be able to come to an all-day day camp and not have to travel a long way from home. It allows the kids to go back home, energize and be ready for the next day.”

 

Charles Molineaux is an anchor and investigative reporter with WAFF 48 News

 

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