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CU hosts 8,681 campers during summer with 224 decisions for Christ

Aug. 17, 2015
For Immediate Release

Centri-Kid students participate in “Mass Chaos” on the campus of Campbellsville University  during one of their camps.

Centri-Kid students participate in “Mass Chaos” on the
campus of Campbellsville University
during one of their camps. Centri-Kid camps
included 4,840 participants (539 more than last
year) from 180 churches, 13
more than in 2014. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joshua
Williams)

By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University hosted 8,681
participants in summer camps from May through the first of August compared to
7,007 last summer for an increase of 24 percent.

Forty-four camp groups visited the campus with 187 churches
participating in activities on campus.

Centri-Kid camps included 4,840 participants (539 more than
last year) from 180 churches, 13 more than in 2014.

Rusty Watkins, director of summer camps and conferences,
said this summer’s camps had 93 first-time decisions for Christ with a total of
224 decisions. Each of the students making first-time decisions received a
Bible.

A total of 487 professions of faith were made from June 1,
2014 through May 31, 2015 among all Campbellsville University services and
missions. This number does not include the decisions made during this summer.

“In my 14 years of leading the summer camp program, we have
had 1,603 first time decisions for Christ,” he said. “That is an amazing
picture of what Campbellsville University is all about.”

Watkins said the camps
consisted of Centri-Kid Camps for third through sixth graders, Fellowship of
Christian Athletes State Leadership Camp for junior high and senior high
students, Kentucky Baptist Convention All-State Youth Choir and Orchestra for
junior high and high school students, Kentucky Police Explorers Academy for
high school and college age students, 55 sports camps including basketball,
soccer, wrestling, football, tennis and cheerleading, leadership retreats and
COVFAMIKOI Family Camp (a Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America camp).

Campbellsville University, for the first year, led her own Journeys Camp for
junior high and senior high students. Campbellsville University’s School of
Music led a two-night, three-day Chamber Music Camp, and we hosted the Ignite
Conference that brought in spiritual leaders from all over the country for a
three-night four-day conference.

All of the groups that were on the campus this summer have already rescheduled
to be here again next summer with the exception of the COVFAMIKOI Family
Camp. Every four years they participate in the National Conference, which
is slated for next summer in the Indianapolis area. They anticipate on
returning to the Campbellsville University campus in summer 2017.

Watkins said Campbellsville University will be hosting the
Kentucky Boys State here next June.  Also, the university has tentatively
scheduled four Journey Camps for next summer (two of those for third through
sixth grades and two of them for sixth through 12th grades).

Watkins said campers came from 28 states in the United
States and Canada, and they were impressed with Campbellsville University and
the camp staff.

“This campus is beautiful and it is ideal for Centri-Kid Children’s Camp,”members of First Baptist Church in Paris, Tenn. said.
Centri-Kid has scheduled for 

Campbellsville University to host nine cycles of camp on
the campus again next summer.

Watkins said, “People come to Campbellsville University because of our
facilities, our Dining Hall and how special dietary needs are met, and how they
are taken care of by my staff from the time they arrive on campus until they
depart campus.”

Watkins
is in charge of scheduling camps and arranging for housing for them,
coordinating the facilities they will use, working with Heith Hall, director of
food services in coordinating meals and meal times, overseeing the swimming
pool and scheduling, training his staff to be servant leaders and working with
the Office of Admissions to make sure every group that visits has someone from
their office talk directly to each group.

“I truly enjoy coordination the
summer camp program here at Campbellsville University,” he said.

“A couple of experiences that
have changed me are:  the lives of young people who make first-time
decisions for Christ while attending a summer camp here on our campus, and,
second, training my summer camp staff to see their role as a ministry and not a
job.”

He had six returning staff
members and four of those had been on his summer camp staff for the past three
summers.

They saw it as a vital ministry of
Campbellsville University and not just a summer job,” he said.

Andrew Greer, worship leader for Centri-Kid
Cycles 1-4, said, “I have led worship at a lot of venues, including Ridgecrest,
but Campbellsville University is one of the most relaxed, refreshing
atmospheres I have been to in a long time.”

Kevin Milburn, pastor of Union
Baptist Church in Kentucky and former vice president of the Kentucky Baptist
Convention, said about his campers had a “great time at Campbellsville
University. This is a lovely place.”[endif]

Watkins said, “A fourth
grader came to me and said, ‘I love Campbellsville University.  This is
where I am coming to college when I get old enough.’”

For more information about summer camps, contact Watkins at rdwatkins@campbellsville.edu
or (270) 789-5047.

Campbellsville University is a
widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500
students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five
postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for
complete information is campbellsville.edu.