FLORENCE, S.C. — More than 150 children this week have participated in this year's WinShape Camp at Florence's First Presbyterian Church.
Participants are broken up into teams to cycle through games, skills drills and Bible lessons — a bit like summer Bible School on steroids. The camp is run by professionals who arrive with their trucks Sunday afternoon and have the camp set up by Monday morning.
Several local youths volunteer to help counsel the camp.
Helping Florence Flourish is behind the camp, which provides a weeklong 8 a.m.-5 p.m. camp experience that the families of many children in the community couldn't ordinarily afford, said the Rev. Chris Handley, who credited Lisa Ivory with being the person who made this year's camp happen.
"We've invested about $17,000. Granted, we had a nice size grant from St. Luke's Foundation but we also had some other private donations," Handley said.
That funding covered the cost of $219 per camper — something that is out of reach of many families, he said.
The camp is split about 50/50 racially which helps Helping Florence Flourish with its goal toward racial reconciliation, Handley said.
"This is the Gospel in Color, a Theology of Racial Reconciliation for Kids," Handley said of a book that all campers will go home with. "This is one of our passions that the kids get to hear what the Gospel says about different color skin."
Handley said Helping Florence Flourish has already reached out to WinShape Camps about next year and has submitted several possible dates.
For more information on WinShape Camps, click here