Mississippi College

Pontotoc County Campers: MC Summer Camps are Awesome

June 17, 2009

Words like "awesome" and "hot" summed up their first few days of summer camp at Mississippi College.

That's how a group of children from Pontotoc County described their stay on the Clinton campus before heading off to hear a Christian rock band lead worship services in Swor Auditorium. The campers were in the middle of their five-day stay at MC. They return home to North Mississippi Saturday, June 20.

"You learn more about Jesus," said 11-year-old camper Sara Grace Colbert as her group gathered under a shady tree Wednesday morning near historic Provine Chapel. Constructed in 1860, Provine is the oldest building on the campus of MC founded in 1826, the nation's second oldest Baptist college.

During their visit to Mississippi College, the campers from First Baptist Church in Troy took time for Bible study, fun games on the Quad, meals in the cafeteria, and much more. They stayed overnight in MC residence halls.

"They've had a ball," said Kim Wilson, the group's lead counselor who teaches Biblical history in Pontotoc city and county schools. "Spiritually, they've thought a lot deeper than they do at home. The Bible study helps gear them up."

Over the past five years, the church in the small community of Troy - five miles from Pontotoc -- has sent other campers to MC. "This is a new generation of kids coming up," Wilson said.

As the steamy Magnolia State temperatures approach the mid-90s, Wilson is getting help as she keeps tabs on five children. Her husband, Jamie Wilson, and counselor Christie Smith, are here to lend a hand. Also making it a little easier for the parent counselors: two of the Wilson children are enrolled: Gabe Wilson, 10, and eight-year-old Hayes Wilson. Christie Smith is enjoying the company of her daughter, 10-year-old Jaycie Smith. Camper Cole Brown, 9, joined in on the parade of activities that take campers from the MC track to the Choctaws' baseball fields and the Baptist Healthplex.

"Thank God for programs like Centri-Kid that plants the seeds of our faith,'' Jamie Wilson said. "Knowing and experiencing Christ is what Centri-Kid is all about.''

From greeting kids with smiles on their face or joining them for a smoothie at Jazzman's coffee shop on the MC campus, the camp staff, he said, "talks the talk, as well as walks the walk.''

The delegation of Pontotoc County visitors are part of the invasion of nearly 10,000 summer campers at Mississippi College from late May through late July. They travel from all over Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Arkansas, and a handful of other states around the South.

Many of the MC camps are led by Nashville-based Lifeway staffers. Super Summer camps linked to the Jackson-based Mississippi Baptist Convention, plus basketball, baseball and cheerleading camps are some of the other activities going on during another busy summer at Mississippi College.

For more information on the MC summer camps, contact Ken Gilliam at 601.925.3264 or gilliam@mc.edu

Photo: Campers from First Baptist Church, Troy, Miss.

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