Sunday, January 25, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Summer day camp inspires kids to help others

bubblesW

Esther Wang plays with bubbles last week at University Covenant Church's Breakaway Camp, which involved nearly 500 children from age 3 through sixth grade. A camp recap and celebration are planned at 9:30 or 11 a.m. Sunday, July 20, at the church. Courtesy photo

When it comes to changing the world, kids may not immediately come to mind. But here in Davis, children in sixth grade and younger are making a difference in surprising and entrepreneurial ways.

Breakaway’s Summer Voyage has come to Davis this past week — a high-energy, interactive summer day camp at the University Covenant Church for kids from age 3 to sixth grade.

Not only is this camp one where nearly 500 kids have been experiencing an undersea submarine adventure and learning about biblical and character traits, it’s one where kids are learning about how to make an impact by providing food and water to those in need.

Throughout the week, the camp has emphasized developing an outwardly focused view of life based on God’s love for each person, where character traits like self-control and respect are encouraged. Not only are these values encouraged in each child’s life, but also in their efforts to raise funds to build a well in Uganda in partnership with The Water Project, an organization that installs wells in areas without access to clean water.

New to the camp this year is also a local mission effort of bringing in nonperishable food items to help replenish the Short-Term Emergency Aid Committee food closet in Davis.

Kids have shown amazing passion for these projects, church leaders report.

“Even before the camp started, kids were out there selling lemonade for The Water Project,” said Breakaway co-director Glen Nielsen. “We’ve heard of kids doing book sales, partnerships with businesses and Otter Pop stands. The power of a motivated child and the impact they can make is far greater than anyone can imagine!”

This is the sixth year that University Covenant Church has hosted this day camp, which has grown every year. This year the preschool/kindergarten program sold out within 36 hours of the opening of registration, and the first- through sixth-grade segment filled up a month before camp began.

“With over 600 people running around campus every day, there are a lot of pieces involved,” said Angela Yee, the other co-director. “We could not do this without the all-church effort of people of all ages contributing and volunteering.

“Countless hours have been spent preparing for months. But we do all this because we believe that Jesus loves each one of these kids, and even at this young age they can make a difference in another person’s life.

“Yes, there are lots of great inflatables, drama, music, arts and crafts and many other things, but ultimately this camp is more than one week of fun,” Yee continued. “The life lessons and mission-oriented perspective being developed in these young children are ones that will last for a lifetime.”

All are invited back for “Breakaway Sunday” on July 20 at 9:30 or 11 a.m., where there will be a recap celebration of the event for the entire family. The church is at 315 Mace Blvd.

For more information, visit ucov.com.

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