Students stay local on summer mission camp

  • Follow Your Faith

Lindsay Poppell, 23, has gone to Warren Baptist Church’s summer camp since she was in middle school.

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Warren Baptist Church member Nancy Riddle leads a Bible study class to a group of children at the Broad Street Ministry Center. Warren Baptist is doing summer camp differently this year with Kingdom Project.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Warren Baptist Church member Nancy Riddle leads a Bible study class to a group of children at the Broad Street Ministry Center. Warren Baptist is doing summer camp differently this year with Kingdom Project.

Each year, she said, students would travel to the beach and stay in a nice hotel. They’d have worship in the mornings and evening, but spent most of the day on the beach, enjoying the wind and waves.

“We were just going to the beach,” she said. “It was about our swimsuits and the boys and us getting closer to the Lord.”

This week, that changed.

Warren Baptist is doing summer camp differently this year with a new outreach-focused camp called the Kingdom Project.

“We are staying here in Augusta and impacting our community,” said Shane Padgett, the student evangelism pastor. “In the past, Warren has spent $300 per kid and gone to the beach, so this is a huge cultural change for Warren and the students.”

Padgett and Student Pastor Grant Janik came up with the idea.

“Grant and I talked about what it would look like if we took all our resources and, instead of spending it on gas to get to the beach every summer, to invest in having an impact on the community?” Padgett said. “We’re trying to teach our kids the reason God has given you resources is for the kingdom.”

This week, more than 180 students are running a vacation Bible school program for kids at the Broad Street Ministry Center, a soccer and basketball sports camp in Grovetown, and a carnival at the Columbia County Library.
The students are camping out in the Washington Road church this week. Their morning begins with a devotion, then teams head out into the community to work. They return for dinner and worship at night.

It costs far less than the beach trip’s $300. Middle schoolers pay $60, and high schoolers pay $130, a fee that covers food, T-shirts, books, and odds and ends.

Beyond a more wallet-friendly price, Padgett said, the format teaches kids that there can be joy in serving.

“We’re wired to serve,” he said. “When we walk in the footsteps of the Lord, there’s a joy in that.”

At the Broad Street Ministry Center, groups of teens arrived Monday to canvass neighborhoods with invitations to Bible school.

The group returned this week each morning Tuesday through today to pick up children for a half-day camp, with arts and crafts, music, singing and dancing, recreation time, Bible study and lunch.

“Our dream would be to have VBS every week this summer because no child should spend the day alone,” said Kaye Morris, the director of the ministry center.

Emily Albrecht, 17, a sen­ior at Greenbrier High School this fall, and Tate Mitchell, 15, a junior at Greenbrier, ran kickball games for the youths Wednesday.

“It was crazy. There were kids everywhere. It’s so fun just to play with them,” Emily said. The experience was eye-opening, Tate said.

“We take attention for granted. You give a kid a piggyback ride for 30 seconds and they don’t forget it,” he said. “I hope it would be an inspiration, and that it would be eye-opening and people would be called every week to come do this.”

Emily said she doesn’t think most teens will miss the beach.

“The Bible says to go serve,” she said. “When you think of going on a mission, people tend to forget about Augusta. The cool thing about the Kingdom Project is it allows you to serve the community.”


Sign up for Vacation Bible School at the Broad Street Ministry Center, offered from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 25-27 or July 23-25, by calling (706) 722-5999.

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scoopdedoop64 06/05/13 - 08:07 pm
The Right Perspective

It sounds to me that they have the right perspective on what it means to serve and care for others. I am certain the students will remember this camp much longer than a week at the beach. I hope this will become a tradition with the youth group and am very thankful for what the youth and the church are doing.

willie7 06/05/13 - 08:26 pm
This project is a great

This project is a great mission----I salute all persons involved.
God bless each and every of them!!!!

Just My Opinion
Just My Opinion 06/06/13 - 04:32 pm
Of course this is a very

Of course this is a very worthy project. But I hope the all area churches...remember that the parents on both "sides" appreciate what is happening for their kids. The parents of the children attending the festivities love the idea that their kids are having wholesome fun! The parents of the Warren kids surely appreciate the lower costs to let their kids participate.

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