Summer 2005, Young Life groups from around the country will have the opportunity to attend a different kind of Young Life summer camp — a sports camp, held on the property of Family First Sports Park in Erie, Pa.
Listed on the summer 2005 camp schedule, the sports camp — intended for male and female campers — will be held July 4–8, 2005, and will focus on basketball and football.
Paul Coty, a staff member in Brooklyn, N.Y., and several of his colleagues started seeking out an alternative to the traditional Young Life camp that would be an attractive option for kids they worked with in their urban communities. Coty said he knew kids just wanted to do one thing: “They loved basketball.”
“As we talk about reaching every kid, that includes every kid who is an athlete, who doesn’t want to do anything except play ball,” Coty said.
In the Eastern Division, staff started to organize kids on teams and play each other. Then, three years ago, Young Life Urban hosted a summer basketball sports camp at the Family First property. The camp included clinics taught by college basketball coaches and tournaments. The sports camp has become increasingly popular among Young Life groups, so camp organizers wanted to expand the camp to include football players.
In summer 2005, the camp hopes to host close to 200 basketball and football athletes for clinics, tournaments and, of course, some traditional Young Life camp elements like club. Area college coaches will instruct the football and basketball clinics. The camp’s cost is approximately $250 per camper.
The first part of the week will consist of clinics, and tournaments will take place during the last few days of camp. Kids will attend club every day, eat meals together and spend free time at the camp’s fun center, which features go-karts, batting cages, miniature golf, bumper boats and a climbing wall.
Along with the sports training and the activities, Coty said, camp organizers want the camp to reflect God’s love, equip the kids with stronger life skills like decision-making and help them build relationships with their peers and leaders.
“This year, we’re looking forward to people coming from everywhere,” said Coty, who hopes the camp will attract close to 200 participants. “We think there are suburban kids who feel the same way about basketball and football. It’s a great way for these kids to be together.”
Contact Paul Coty at (917) 435-7843 if you have questions or would like to find out more about Young Life's sports camp.