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From Arts and Athletics to Music and Praise, Camp Season Keeps Mississippi College’s Summer Lively

Youngsters from throughout the Southeast will visit Mississippi College this summer to take part in various activities, from Super Summer (pictured) and Fuge to sports, art, and music camps.
Youngsters from throughout the Southeast will visit Mississippi College this summer to take part in various activities, from Super Summer (pictured) and Fuge to sports, art, and music camps.

The placid tranquility of early summer mornings at Mississippi College will soon give way to joyful noises: coaching whistles, lively shouts, and songs of praise.

Camp season has arrived on the Clinton campus, and hundreds of youngsters from throughout the Southeast will descend upon MC in June and July to sharpen their athletics skills, improve their musical abilities, take part in fine arts lessons, and worship the Lord.

All of the commotion is welcome, according to Ken Gilliam, director of continuing education at MC, who coordinates each of the events.

“We always say, ‘If you can hear crickets out on the Quad, we probably don’t need to be up here,” Gilliam said with a laugh. “But if we have some activity, then things are exciting.”

Besides, Gilliam said, summer camps help ensure the Christian University stays well-maintained and ready to accept its regular students in the fall.

“When we have guests staying in the residence halls, it helps us be aware and take care of any maintenance issues that may arise,” he said. “The camps provide employment for our food service workers – instead of having the entire summer off, they’re able to work. Most of all, hosting these kids on campus, and providing them with a good, positive experience, will be helpful down the road in recruiting them to come here as students.

“We’re looking forward to a good year.”

New to MC this summer is an art camp for youngsters hosted by the MC Department of Art. Dr. Stephanie Busbea, chair of the department, said remodeled graphic design studios in the Aven Fine Arts Building and the new Gore Arts Complex will facilitate the camp.

“The department has never had the space to offer an art camp at MC before,” Busbea said, “but now we are pleased to offer it to the community. We want students to see what we have to offer at MC.

“We want the camp to showcase the options we have for art majors, art minors, and members of the Clinton community.”

Artistically inclined students in grades two through six can explore a range of mediums and discover which may hold the most interest to them during Young Artists Camp June 26-29. Art education majors will introduce the students to a variety of artistic styles each day, from ceramics and sculpture to print-making and painting.

The Young Artists Camp costs $150 per student. All materials will be provided. For more information or to register for the camp, click here.

Another camp making its first appearance at Mississippi College is Hugh O’Brian Youth Leadership (HOBY) International from June 2-4. Started in 1958 by the Marine veteran-turned-celebrity actor, HOBY’s mission is to “inspire and develop our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service, and innovation.”

“I believe every person is created as the steward of his or her own destiny with great power for a specific purpose,” the late actor said. That purpose is “to share with others, through service, a reverence for life in a spirit of love.”

HOBY International attracts 10th-grade students from across the state who demonstrate outstanding leadership qualities and helps strengthen their skills to become influencers of tomorrow.

Gilliam said Millsaps College in Jackson has hosted HOBY International each year since the mid-1990s, but Mississippi College was able to secure the camp for its summer slate, thanks to the efforts of Cathy Chapman, administrative assistant in sociology and social work, who serves on the HOBY Board of Directors.

As usual, the largest camp this summer will be Fuge – a combination of Mission Fuge and Centrifuge – sponsored by the Southern Baptist Convention. MC was the first college in the country to host the combined camp, which takes students out of their regular routines and places them into an environment focused on changing lives through a relationship with Jesus Christ.

During three week-long sessions, MFuge participants will jump into ministry programs in the Jackson Metropolitan area and serve people in need, doing yard work, painting, and other tasks. They will return to MC’s campus each day to attend worship with Centrifuge participants.

Centrifuge campers are divided into groups for recreation and Bible study based on the students’ age and education. The six-day experience combines lively worship services with live Christian music, quiet time for Bible study, fellowship with peers in the Caf, sports activities at the Healthplex, and short mission trips to share Christ’s love with local children. The sessions are scheduled June 12-17, June 19-24, and June 26-July 1.

MC will once again beckon budding instrumentalists and vocalists to Music Camp. Directed by Bob Knupp, MC music professor, the intensive melodic fest for seventh-to-twelfth-grade students will conclude with a recital for parents. For more information, click here.

MC Athletics coaches and assistants will conduct a variety of sports camps throughout the summer, helping athletes from elementary school through high school develop their championship form in football, basketball, soccer, and volleyball.

But the penultimate event of MC’s summer camp season will be Super Summer, a five-day event scheduled to begin on July 10. More than one thousand youngsters, youth pastors, church leaders, and other staff members are expected to attend.

Jason Curry, founder of Finish Empty, will be the featured speaker, and Brett Perkins, worship pastor at the Journey Church in Lebanon, Tennessee, will serve as the musical performer for Super Summer. The discipleship and evangelism leadership conference promotes qualitative spiritual growth and helps develop student leaders for Mississippi churches.

The SBC sponsors the camp, which is designed for students who have a desire to grow spiritually. Super Summer challenges them to share their faith with others.

For more information about summer camps at Mississippi College, click here.