WHEELING,W.Va.(WTRF) – It’s summer time, and for many youth that means lots of camps and vacation bible schools. But one church actually combines the two ideas. Every year the Vineyard Adventure Kids program and the Vineyard Church of Wheeling hosts their annual free football and cheer camp. This is something the wheeling park football team is proud to help out with.
“We’re always, the football team, talking about giving back to the community, trying to do some outreach stuff. It’s just an easy fit, I’m a member of the church. These guys are given the opportunity to volunteer or not volunteer it’s up to them and I never have a problem getting these guys here. I think these big kids get more out of it than the little ones do,” said Chris Daugherty, Wheeling Park’s head football coach.
Coach Doc says he has one piece of advice for his players before they help out each year.
“You’re bigger than life to them. For you to give them a positive word of encouragement and just a pat on the back and say man this is great. they have no idea the changes they can make in a young kid’s mind.”
During the camp, the kids learn fundamentals of their sports, learn songs, and spend time bonding.
“I love working with kids. And I love cheerleading so being able to combine the two and see these kids really light up and come out of their shells and just have a good time. They could be sitting inside all summer but this gives them an opportunity to meet friends and have a good time,” said Brooke Anderson, a camp volunteer.
One thing is certain, all of those that give back to the camp, help to spread one message.
“I think ultimately we’re using sport as a platform just to love up on the kids and I hope that they can feel a lot of confidence hear a lot of encouraging words and ultimately love themselves better and that’s kind of the goal here, just to love them the same way Jesus has loved us,” said Assistant Pastor Mikah Tatebe.