Mississippi College Students Help at Summer Camps
Michelle Planchard discovered Mississippi College as an MFUGE summer camper three years ago and the wonderful experience prompted her to become an MC Choctaw. Now, the Covington, Louisiana resident feels blessed to join university students assisting with camp operations.
Following a week of training, Michelle and classmates quickly went to work. With nearly 600 young people attending the second week of Fuge camps, the mission is making sure all guests enjoy their stay. Sports activities combine with incredible worship services, Bible study and life-changing moments on the Clinton campus.
The MC students handled overnight checks of campers at residence halls, supplied bottles of water, and sold snacks during warm afternoons at the Coke trailer. Their goal is to make sure visitors’ needs are met daily.
Working with staff at the Christian university’s Office of Continuing Education, MC students will remain busy through the end of Super Summer camps on July 19. More than 1,000 teens from Baptist churches statewide come here for Super Summer to develop their leadership skills and build their faith. By the end of the camp season, more than 5,000 young people will visit Mississippi College.
The MC students “are very instrumental to see that the camps run smoothly,” says Cheli Vance, continuing education program coordinator. “They work hard, but have a lot of fun.”
Cooler than usual temperatures in mid-June made their job easier. Supported as well by counselors with Nashville-based LifeWay, the five-day Fuge camps are generating positive responses.
The camp structure “is good – it’s solid” William Walley, a Mississippi youth pastor joining church members for lunch at the school cafeteria on June 13.
Part of the delegation from The Church on Main in Columbia, Walley praised the students pitching in from morning through late-night hours. “These are great college kids and we see their passion.”
Campers from the church along Main Street see the benefits of the Christian camps at MC. “I like the worship, the activity tracks and the food,” said Ethan Jones. “The weather’s been very nice. I love it.”
Jones, 18, who was home schooled, is among Fuge camp visitors from 31 churches this week in mid-June. They traveled from communities across Mississippi as well as states like Alabama, Louisiana, Florida, Texas and Kentucky. Others made the journey from West Virginia and Illinois.
Starting June 17, there will be hundreds of Fuge campers arriving from 33 churches, Vance said. It never gets old. “We enjoyed this week thoroughly.”
A May 2019 Mississippi College graduate, Madison Brown of Petal will attend graduate school at the Baptist-affiliated university this Fall.
Brown sees her role as impacting the lives of teens who may become future MC Choctaws. “We get to be their first look at what MC is about.”
For MC student Kyle Hoskins of Meridian, working on the support staff will be an excellent experience prior to starting his senior year.
Others assisting with the 2019 summer camps are MC students Abby Crain of Monroe, Louisiana, Anna Armstrong of Birmingham, Alabama, Kailyn Skinner of Collierville, Tennessee and Kristian Brent of Jackson.