For Immediate Release
May 2, 2017
Beth Harrison, Hamilton Strategies, 610.584.1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton, 215.815.7716, 610.584.1096, ext. 102
Fellowship of Christian Athletes Camps Rejuvenate Coaches Through Heart, Home and Field
Said One Coach of Camp: ‘I Praise God for the Opportunity to Partner with FCA in Fulfilling the Lord’s Work to Make an Eternal Investment in the Lives of Young Student Athletes’
(Editors Note: First in a five-part series on Fellowship of Christian Athletes Camps, which will reach more than 100,000 coaches and athletes this summer. To find FCA Camps in your coverage area, click here.)
KANSAS CITY, Mo.—Going to camp isn’t just for kids anymore.
In fact, one of the most successful aspects of Fellowship of Christian Athletes’ (FCA, www.fca.org) Camps are special events designed specifically for coaches, their spouses and their families.
Wade Hopkins, FCA’s Vice President of Field Ministry for the Southwest Region, which includes Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas, sees life change happen each year at a Camp in Texas, where nearly 500 come together for a long weekend to rest, re-center and rejuvenate.
Coaches Camps challenge coaches in their faith and family life, and allow them to be spiritually, relationally and professionally refreshed. Coaches Camps are for single and married coaches and their families; they 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.
This summer, from July 6-9 at La Torretta Lake Resort & Spa in Montgomery, Texas, upwards of 150 families, with about 175 kids in tow, are expected to attend. College students work with the children as mentors and activity leaders, while moms and dads attend sessions to reconnect.
Part of the FCA staff for 20 years, Hopkins has seen firsthand how his region’s Coaches Camp impacts families. That area Camp began as a couples event with a theme of “Faith, Family, Finances” but a few years ago, entire families were invited as well.
“This Camp is a tremendous opportunity for coaches and their families, and many plan their vacation around it,” Hopkins said. “The greatest impact I see year after year is that the coaches’ spouses come to realize that coaching isn’t just a job, but a calling. The life of a coach can be frustrating for families sometimes, as coaches spend so many hours away from home, invest so many hours in other kids besides their own, and often for not very much pay. When spouses come to Camp, they catch the vision that coaches are on a mission—and they, too, can join in that mission. They can make an impact along with the coaches in their lives. Because it’s not a job, it is a calling.”
Hopkins said another regular occurrence at the family Camp is that attendees realize they are not alone, that other coaching families have the same struggles they do. Guest speakers address various issues, such as marriage, finances and faith.
“At Camp, they are connected to a fraternity of coaching families that really changes lives,” Hopkins said. “What these families get from Camp is that coaching is God’s vision for their lives and what He’s called them to be. They embrace it, unify around it, and it transforms their future.”
Throughout the country at hundreds of Camps, coaches return refreshed to their families, teams and communities through FCA Camps, as evidenced by feedback year after year:
- “FCA Coaches Camp was an amazing experience for my family and me. I walked away with an ‘all in’ mentality by being able to speak and share the Word with other coaches. Listening to them helped me look at what I do in a whole new light.”
- “I praise God for the opportunity to partner with FCA in fulfilling the Lord’s work to make an eternal investment in the lives of young student athletes.”
- “This week has challenged me to look at the way I see and value competition and how I would instruct students. God showed me to honor the process of coaching more than winning and to be encouraging and uplifting of all the athletes in their roles.”
- “I’ve been able to grow in my relationship with God by being surrounded by other Christian coaches and believers, discussing challenges faced everyday, fighting to live counter cultural to society’s expectations of sport.”
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 the coming weeks, hundreds of Camps all around the country will reach more than 100,000 participants. In 2016, FCA’s Camps ministry experienced another record-breaking year, with a total attendance of 106,000 at 720 Camps in 40 states and 45 countries around the world. The 2016 attendance was an increase of more than 10,000 over 2015.
FCA’s easy-to-use Camps website allows coaches, athletes, parents and teams to find Camps by sport, date or location. Learn more about the Texas Camp here. FCA also offers a special web site dedicated to this summer’s Camps season highlighting the theme of “ONE.”
For the immensely successful and popular Camps ministry, FCA takes the best attributes of both athletic- and spiritual-focused camp events and combines them into an athletic/spiritual experience like none other. 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 Coaches Camps, other types of FCA Camps include:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 effective leaders and preparing participants for FCA Huddle ministry.
- Partnership Camps work with other ministries and organizations involved in sports ministry. At Partnership Camps, FCA develops a relationship with an existing Camp to provide the spiritual and/or the athletic aspect of the program. This can include FCA Camp curriculum, FCA resources, speakers, Huddle meetings and staff.
- 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, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fcafans or its Twitter feed @fcanews. Read more about FCA here.
To interview a representative from Fellowship of Christian Athletes, contact Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102.