Glenbrook Upward Soccer Camp
This past summer, the eyes of the world were watching the World Cup of soccer in Brazil. The names of Maynard, Messi, and Rooney, if they were not already known, became even more well known as they played in soccer stadiums across Brazil. With each day's coverage, the CBC usually had a panoramic view of the city of Rio de Janeiro, including the famous statue of Jesus Christ with His arms outstretched over the great city. What does soccer (or football to most of the world) and Jesus Christ have in common?
Over the past five summers, Glenbrook Presbyterian Church in Mississauga, Ontario, has run a one week Soccer Camp for children and youth. With the increasing popularity of soccer in Mississauga, aided by events like the World Cup and the Canadian Women's National Soccer Team success during the Olympics, Glenbrook decided to use an alternative to a traditional DVBS to connect with children and youth interested in having fun playing soccer but also with a purpose to share the good news of God's love in Jesus Christ.
The program that Glenbrook uses is provided by UPWARD Unlimited, who provide a well-planned curriculum and the basic equipment (each child gets a soccer ball, T-shirt and a water bottle). The congregation in turn provides the venue, which is a local soccer field, and the volunteer staff, which ranges from a prayer team to coaches for each of the teams. God provides the sunshine! This summer from August 11-15, 55 campers enjoyed learning soccer skills and the value of teamwork, along with a daily Bible memory verse. Twenty-five volunteers (which included high school students and yes, even a 75-year-old soccer enthusiast) from Glenbrook and two other sister congregations (St. Thomas à Becket Anglican Church and The Indonesian Reformed Evangelical Church) worked together and provided a great week of fun. If your congregation is interested in having an UPWARD soccer camp, please contact Debora Lim at Glenbrook and she will be pleased to assist.
From July 21st to 25th, St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Bolsover, Ontario, ran a sports camp for 5- to 13-year-olds. It was an all-day program that included snacks and lunch. We were blessed with a great staff and 30 wonderful campers. One of the highlights was the amazing full participation in the daily memory verse.
Also, from August 11th to 15th, in conjunction with Athletes In Action and a local Pentecostal church, the Bolsover/Woodville Charge participated in running a soccer skills camp for 7- to 12-year-olds. With an international-level qualified head coach, the program was of high calibre and well received. It was a half-day program that will likely be extended to full days next year. The kids loved the daily Jesus dramas.