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Mississippi College

Super Summer Campers Strengthen Faith at Mississippi College

July 17, 2013

Nearly 1,100 Super Summer campers discovered there was little time to rest at Mississippi College.

Since 1987, the Christian university has welcomed Super Summer teens from Baptist churches across the Magnolia State to participate in Bible study, worship, athletic events, community service and other activities to build their leadership skills and daily walk with God.

“It’s go-go-go, but it’s fun,” says 14-year-old McKenzie Dowdy, a member of Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton.

McKenzie is among 17 young people from her church making the short journey to the Clinton campus in mid-July with youth pastors and parent chaperones.

Super Summer is always a spiritually refreshing experience for the students, says Greg Belser, senior pastor of Morrison Heights Baptist Church. “They get intensive discipleship and a challenge to walk more faithfully with Christ.”

Supported for decades by the Mississippi Baptist Convention and local Baptist churches, Super Summer is an excellent opportunity for the students and youth pastors, Belser said. “The event is not for everyone. It is for those who are serious about their faith. We see it as a catalytic event to push students forward in Christ and raise Godly kids.”

McKenzie Dowdy and her friend Katie Magee, 14, of First Baptist Church Madison, attended Super Summer for the first time.

As members of the camp’s red school, they’ve embraced worship services at First Baptist Church Clinton, heard from motivational speakers, shared three daily Bible sessions, and enjoyed the fellowship time over meals served in the MC cafeteria.

Other teens are assigned to silver, yellow, green, and orange teams that coincide with the years they’ve been Super Summer campers. They stay busy from sunrise until the lights get turned off at 11:30 p.m. in the residence halls at America’s second oldest Baptist college.

“I like the nightly worship – it’s awesome,” says Katie Magee, a 9th grader at Germantown High in Gluckstadt.

This year’s camp theme is “redefine” taken from 1 Peter 2:9-10. Activities vary from first-year students who study basic discipleship issues to fifth-year students reaching out to folks in inner city Jackson for mission work.

Whether they are newcomers or longtime campers, students from churches stretching from Tupelo to Moss Point are soaking up experiences to build their faith.

“I like the environment of being around brothers and sisters in Christ and growing around them,” says  Kaeleigh Cole, 15, a member of Country Woods Baptist Church in Jackson. “This is even better than last year.”

Members of the brown team with new friends like Kaeleigh, Kassidy Gautier of First Baptist Jackson, and Milton Robinson of First Baptist Church Starkville, Shelby Bickes of First Baptist Church Saltillo sums up her Super Summer in a few words. “It’s to glorify God,” she said during a break at MC’s air conditioned Alumni Hall as Central Mississippi temperatures outside climbed toward the 90 degree mark.

Super Summer camps began Monday July 15th and wrap up Thursday July 19th.

Caitlin Bailey of Harrisburg Baptist Church in Tupelo is among the campers thinking about Super Summer 2014 at Mississippi College. “The worship is amazing!,” she said. “The countdown until the next year starts when we leave.”

Photo: Super Summer campers Katie Magee of Guckstadt and McKenzie Dowdy of Clinton. Katie attends First Baptist Church Madison and McKenzie is a member of Morrison Heights Baptist Church in Clinton.