Another successful year of Hillside Sports Camp has wrapped up for the summer! This year from August 8th to 11th the Almonte – Hillside RP Church put on their yearly summer sports camp. The camp was located at the Almonte Arena and Gemmill Park, which is up a hill, behind the church.  We had a total of 62 campers divided into 4 teams ranging in age from 8 to 13 years old.  None of it would happen without a ton of excellent volunteers, from our freezie deliverer and registration team to youth LITs, adult leaders, and SU coaches and of course our fabulous directors.

 The 5 SU coaches who helped out at the camp are with the Scripture Union organization which is based in Toronto. They are Christian university students who run and help out at various sports camps throughout the summer. Our leaders in training (LITs) are junior leaders who volunteer to help with the camp. This year there were 18 youth LITs. They were  from our community as well as from three local RP churches, Almonte, Russell, and Ottawa.

Although the LITs are there to help with the camp and gain leadership skills it’s also an outreach program for the community LITs. During lunch hour while the campers are in their own devotion groups the LITs meet separately with Almonte’s pastor Matt Dyck who leads devotions for them. The themes for the week’s devotions were “Making The Team”, “Courage”, “Penalties and Failure”, and “What do I Really Need?”. They all followed the relationship and story of Jesus and Peter.

Each year every team has a color and gets to pick a name for themselves. We had our 8 year old Green team they were the “Green Lanterns”, blue team was made up of all 9 year old boys, they were the “Cookie Monsters”, our red team of 9-11 year olds chose to be called the “Red Laser Mermaids” and last but not least our oldest 12-13 year old Orange team were named the “Hot Cheeto Dusters”.

Every day there were four sports: Baseball, Football, Basketball, and Mystery sport. Each of the four days had a different Mystery sport – Tuesday’s Mystery sport was soccer, Wednesday we did pickleball, Thursday was disc golf, and Friday was dodgeball. After lunch and devotions there was free time! During their free time, the campers were allowed to mix with all the different age groups and play any of the sports that were available that day as well as a few extra activities like face painting and crafts. Friday lunchtime was made extra special as we had a visit from the fire department with their water truck and sprinkler for some water fun.

Each day is capped off by some fun devotion trivia and our ACE awards where each team chooses one camper to recognize for their Attitude, Cooperation, and Effort. They are rewarded with a special team cookie and a Bible.

On Friday, camp soon comes to a close as the campers form a long line and walk back down to the Hillside RP church. Here all the camper’s families are invited to join us as we watch a video of all the great memories made at camp followed by a community barbecue. As soon as camp comes to a close we are back to planning for next year.

Our thanks to Anna Chan for writing this article for us, Anna is 17 years old and is a member of Hillside RPC along with her family.

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