Stephen Sowell and a group of over 25 college students were only in Dacula for a week, but the impact they had on close to 200 Dacula kids will last a lifetime. Last week Hamilton Mill United Methodist Church hosted WinShape Camps for Communities, a summer camp that taught many kids in our community what it means to be extraordinary leaders.
“WinShape Camp brings and unforgettable day camp experience that combines both sports and arts,” explained Stephen Sowell, director for WinShape Camps for Communities. “Campers can choose from 19 different activities that they can participate in like wacky science, fast food, flag football, and soccer. We also bring a Christ-centered focus to what we do. So even on the wiffle ball field, there will be a devotion shared that goes along with our theme for the week and for the day. Everything centers around who Jesus is, and what that means for us, our campers, and their families.”
The WinShape Foundation was started by Truett Cathy, founder of Chick-fil-A. We now have two Chick-fil-As right here in Dacula, so bringing a camp like this to our community fits within their vision, "to glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-fil-A."
“Truett Cathy, around 1985 began WinShape Camps and the WinShape Foundation around the same time, and his purpose and goal was to impact the lives of young people,” Sowell said. “He looked at the resources he had been given, and with his love for children he asked ‘what can we do to impact the lives of young people in our own back yard and across the country.’ We have evolved as a camp from that vision, and that is what has been happening here in Dacula this week. It is also happening in 63 other cities this summer. We are growing each year, and it is just a lot of fun.”
So how has this camp inspired our children and shaped future leaders in Dacula?
“The one thing I hope, as the camp director and camp pastor is that kids do not leave feeling just like another ordinary kid,” Sowell said. “Our theme for the week is 'The Extraordinaries,' with a super hero motif. We are teaching the kids that because of who Jesus is they do not have to be just ordinary anymore – He has made us extraordinary. If we ask Him to be in control of our lives then we are not ordinary. A lot of our campers have made the decision this week to make that happen for them, and that is an exciting thing for us.”
On Friday, the WinShape camp went beyond their mission to touch the lives of our children and invited their families to become extraordinary too.
“We invite the parents on Friday to join the campers for Chick-fil-a Friday Family Fun Day, where the parents get to go through the entire day and see what their campers have been working on, and go to all of the different activities and skills,” Sowell explained. “But what I love about having the families here, is that they get to peek in and see what we have been teaching their child. And just like the kids, I want the families to come to camp and sense the difference of who Jesus is for them as a family, and what does it look like for Jesus to be in control of their family – ‘we are not just an ordinary family anymore, we can be an extraordinary family'."
WinShape Camps for Communities is all about shaping leaders. After a week of camp, Dacula now has 200 young people that are not just ordinary anymore, so you can expect to see some extraordinary young leaders and families in your neighborhood soon!
Click here to learn more about the WinShape Foundation.