Fellowship of Christian Athletes Announces Theme of ‘Strong’ for 2018 Camps Ministry
In 2017, More than 113,000 Coaches and Athletes Participated in Record-Breaking 780 Camps in 45 States and 41 Countries
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Athletes are conditioned to be strong both physically and mentally. And often, the greater athlete in a single contest is the one who is faster, stronger and smarter than their opponent. But Christian competitors can rest assured in the advantage of being spiritually strong in the Savior—no matter the outcome of the game or the numbers on the scoreboard.
In that vein, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) is announcing its 2018 Camps theme—“Strong”—based on the Bible verse 2 Timothy 4:7: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful” (NLT).
The “Strong” theme focuses on the fact that believers serve a strong God, and His followers are called to be like Him in every area of their lives—including sports.
“God calls us to be solid in our faith, to fight the good fight with perseverance, and surround ourselves with a firm support system in order to finish strong,” said FCA President and CEO Shane Williamson. “With Jesus Christ and His Word transforming us daily, we can be strong 24/7! Looking back on last year’s incredible Camps season, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is again honored and blessed to carry out the Lord’s work, especially through our amazing Camps program around the world.
“Since 1956, FCA Camps have been bringing life-changing impact to hundreds of thousands of coaches and athletes,” Williamson continued. “In fact, an FCA Camp changed my life. While the new year is just kicking off, we are already looking forward to this summer, when coaches, athletes and teams will be pushed, stretched and challenged to grow in their sport and in their relationship with Jesus Christ through upwards of 800 Camps nationwide and around the world.”
Last summer, more than 113,000 participated in 780 FCA Camps in 45 states and 41 countries for a time of “inspiration and perspiration.” FCA Camps take the best attributes of an athletic-focused camp and a spiritual-focused camp and combines them into an athletic/spiritual experience like none other. FCA Camps remove athletes and coaches from the 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 Christ’s passion for them.
Throughout the summer of 2017, 9,417 coaches and athletes made first-time commitments to Christ, and 10,997 recommitted their lives to Christ. More than 300 of the Camps occurred internationally, and the 2017 attendance of 113,000-plus was an increase of more than 7,200 over 2016.
The life-changing impact on coaches and athletes has been the main focus of FCA Camps since 1956. Today, competitors who want to reach their potential through comprehensive athletic, spiritual and leadership training attend a variety of Camps:
- 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.
- Sports Camps 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. Outstanding instruction, skill development and intense competition prepare the camper for future athletic competition.
- 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. The Camps focus on teaching practical skills for Christian growth, developing as an effective leader and preparing for FCA huddle ministry.
- 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. The Camps are normally day camps that involve the local community.
- 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 great outreach opportunity, and coaches benefit greatly by evaluating their team’s talent. Team Camps serve the coaches by providing a wonderful camp experience for their players while building team unity.
- International Camps focus on establishing all of the FCA Camp types for coaches and athletes in countries around the world.
FCA staff lead the Camps, and the 4,000-plus instructors have been carefully selected and consist of FCA staff, current collegiate and high school coaches, professional athletes and current and former college athletes. They bring years of coaching and performance experience to FCA Camps and serve as role models for campers both on and off the field. Every Camp is led by certified FCA staff, and each director has been trained and certified as an FCA Camp leader. These leaders collectively provide years of FCA Camp experience.
Also taking leadership roles at Camps are FCA Huddle Leaders and Counselors—college student-athletes who work directly with small groups of campers. Each Huddle Leader is carefully hand-picked by the Huddle Leader Coordinator, through careful screening, which includes an in-depth application process with references. Every Huddle Leader is trained to become a certified FCA Camp Leader and is dedicated to Christ, not only at Camp, but also in their everyday lives. Once selected, these leaders take part in a two-day, on-site training program in addition to the preparation work they do before arriving at Camp.
View the 2018 FCA Camps site and video here. Read more about Fellowship of Christian Athletes here, visit FCA’s web site at www.fca.org, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fcafans or its Twitter feed @fcanews.