Each summer, Campus Clubs has a 6 week academic camp. Those in the yearly after-school program are given first priority to enroll and if additional space is available, enrollment is open to the public.
Highlights from the 2015 Camp – ALOHA!
ALOHA stands for All Learning Opportunities Help Advancement! This summer over 140 Campus Clubs’ students were challenged to learn our theme and to understand exactly what it meant! Whether one is being exposed to scripture, academics or life skills, ALL opportunities advance one in their understanding of a Holy God, in their academic journey, and in their success in life through life skills. Throughout the summer, a child was greeted with ALOHA, and he/she would smile and say “All Learning Opportunities Help Advancement.” Dr. Curtis Jones, Bibb County School District Superintendent, toured Campus Clubs, met our awesome students and their wonderful teachers. He commented how much he liked our theme and how true the words are! His staff plans to return in the near future to video parts of our program! We plan to keep our theme until next summer.
Campus Clubs is committed to helping inner-city children escape the reality of poverty and illiteracy through an academic based after-school program and an academic summer camp. The number of needed prison beds in the future are projected by the number of third graders who are reading on grade level today. We are making sure our students are good readers, so that none are used in that projection number!
Several of our partners have commented that they really enjoy working with Campus Clubs because of the consistency of the students’ attendance as well as the structure of our program. We operate somewhat like a school with all students divided into classrooms by grade and one caring and enthusiastic teacher. The High School students in grades 9-12 are all together with one teacher.
Our rising kindergartners had a fun and productive summer. A class of five year olds began when we realized that many children were very excited to begin their school journey, but on their first day, it would became abundantly clear that they were behind and their spirits were crushed! Many of the other students knew their ABCs, could count to 25, knew their colors, etc. when they arrived at school; whereas, many inner-city children would arrive without any of that knowledge. Our teacher and staff is in close communications with the kindergarten teachers at L.H. Williams Elementary School in the heart of Pleasant Hill. Those teachers are extremely appreciative of the work Campus Clubs does in the summer time! This summer, Mrs. Snead, 5K teacher, realized that most of her students were in need of learning all the basic skills as well as manners. That is where she spent the majority of her time teaching. She also focused on teaching each student how to pay attention and to follow directions.
First grade was headed by Mrs. Edwards, a teacher in the Bibb County School district. She was very creative in making reading fun. After daily reading lessons, she often would let each student draw something that was applicable to the story of the day. She gave spelling tests and math worksheets.
Mrs. Swayne, our second grade teacher, holds a masters in elementary education as well as counseling. Her class took a trip around the world through reading books! She also taught math and reading through many history and science lessons.
Fourth grade students’ teacher, Mrs. Woodruff, is a recent Mercer University graduate. She provided much structure each day as she taught a Bible story, had an open discussion, a reading period, a grammar and spelling session and a math period. Her creativity shined through as she provided stations for her students on special days. They included art, computer, math, play station, play dough and a doodle board. Recess and physical education occurred each day as well.
Mrs. Harris teaches our fabulous fifth graders, and she also teaches in the Bibb County School District. Along with devotions from Psalms and Hebrew, she introduced the book, Sour Land. Each day the students would read a chapter, discuss, find 5 words from the chapter and define them. Each day a vocabulary list was established. They also learned about the parts of speech, prepositions, adverbs, nouns, verbs, adjectives, contractions and compound words. They reviewed math, played board games, and went outside to play.
Sixth graders were taught by Mrs. Gordon who is one of our most creative teachers. They decorated their walls with Ms. Tamika’s Talented Treasures, made “thankful” booklets, decorated their door with the tree of life, made and decorated Fathers’ Day trophy cups along with all of their academics. Spelling and writing sentences along with reading was highlighted in the class although math lessons were interspersed along the way.
Mrs. Banks enjoyed her seventh graders! After scripture are read and prayers were said, the students were taught spelling, sentence structure and were encouraged to read. Math practice worksheets were done each day along with educational games and movies.
Eighth grade students was led by another Bibb County School District teacher, Mr. Thomas Yarbrough. Each student was given a folder and a journal to complete various assignments throughout the week. Every day a Bible lesson was followed by activities associated with the lesson. There would always be an application part that the students would take home. The students were required to respond to a journal prompt for five minutes. Then reading and writing activities where various pieces were read and a reading analysis was given took place. They also reviewed literary terms and wrote for different subject areas. In the afternoon, math work began with word problems, adding and subtracting integers, multiplying and dividing integers, and math games. The students were encouraged to give back by serving the other classrooms whether taking out their trash or sweeping and mopping their rooms.
High School students under the guidance of Mr. Travis Brown, practiced their reading, writing and math skills along with learning about business principles through two summer yard sales. After classroom instruction time, these students collected, organized, priced, advertised and manned two successful sales. They also learned much about serving God and others by daily service projects.
Every classroom’s activities in this report could be expanded since much was happening in each class every day this summer. Along with classroom instructions, several field trips were taken and many volunteers came by to provide special events. The younger students enjoyed touring the Frank Amerson Water Treatment Plant, Vacation Bible School at Vineville United Methodist Church, Dance week at First Presbyterian Day School (FPD), an onsite Vacation Bible School led by staff and students of Houston Lake Presbyterian Church, cheerleading camp and a one day football clinic. Our older students toured Mercer University and were also involved in the athletic camps led by FPD students. They ended another academic summer with a well- earned trip to Rigbys Entertainment Center in Warner Robins while the younger students celebrated with a cookout and water slides on our center’s premises.
Camps are a strategic part of Campus Clubs’ effort to reach students with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is our belief that an individual cannot be whole without a living relationship with God, through His Son. Partnering with a youth organization known as Camp Grace, students have the privilege of experiencing a Christian camp, where the gospel is proclaimed in an age-appropriate setting that tears down the walls of doubt and despair and allows the light of Gods’ glory to shine in their hearts.
These yearly camps have been tagged the best weekend of your life. The students are removed from their normal environment and the distractions of the world, experiencing the beauty of God’s creation. Through the Benjamin Hawkins Foundation, students in the past have received scholarships to assist them in attending this awesome camp.
Mission Trip to Nicaragua
Due to the generosity of a donor who specified foreign missions, a Campus Clubs kid, LaTonya Stephens, and Executive Director, Robin Crosby, spent a week in Nicaragua with a mission team from First Presbyterian Church. LaTonya had only been out of Macon one time and was afraid of flying and water. She overcame many of her fears as she stretched herself and placed her trust in God. “I watched her tackle her fears, love on sick and needy children, pray with hurting mothers of sick children, and work very diligently painting several dingy hospital rooms,” commented Robin.
LaTonya gave her life to Christ last summer and was able to experience another culture with very poor and hurting people where she could offer them hope in Christ through her actions and words.
We hope to participate in more mission trips abroad and stateside, such as tornado or hurricane clean-ups. We are also hoping to send all of our students to Camp Grace. Grants are being applied for and all donations for this purpose would be appreciated. To provide a donation for this purpose please click here.