Wanting to reach out and impact children in a positive way, the Pusch Ridge Christian Academy High School football and cheer teams hosted camps for foster children.
“The main goal of this camp is to improve the skills of the kids and to help them understand that no one is perfect,” said Lamar Lovett, assistant varsity football coach. “We are going to experience failure in life but when we look beyond ourselves and trust in God we can actually bounce back.”
This is the second year in a row that Pusch Ridge has put on a football camp for foster children – an idea that was initially thought of by David Brittain, junior varsity football coach for the past two years, and Troy Cropp, the head varsity football coach.
“It was mostly Troy’s idea. Both of us have been involved in foster care so that idea spurred from our desire to imitate God and what He values is important,” said Brittain. “ It’s a small opportunity to imitate God in showing fatherly care to the fatherless and teaching basic skills of football, having fun and encouraging young boys who are becoming men.”
Cropp has been a part of the Pusch Ridge football program for the past two years and saw the camp as a way to reach out to the community. By making the camp free of charge, families could sign up their children with no burden of camp costs.
“The foster camp is a great opportunity to care for our community because serving our community is part of being real godly men,” said Cropp, referring to his high school football players who helped out. “We also can reach out to those in need in our community.”
The camp was open to children kindergarten to eighth grade and ran from Monday to Friday for three hours each day. Drills on passing, blocking, running patterns and teamwork helped the campers work on skills that would translate to the football field. Kif Nichols, an upcoming junior at Pusch Ridge and varsity football player, helped out at the camp for the first time this year.
“It’s pretty fun and good to be able to encourage them to do the drills and experience success,” said Nichols. “When I did camps it got me familiar with the game and taught me to forget about mistakes and keep going.”
Also a part of the foster camp was a cheer camp headed up by the high school cheer coach Tiffany Brown. This is her second year at Pusch Ridge and seventeenth year of coaching. Brown put together a camp that focused on the basics of cheer, which included stretching, jumping, cheer and dance routines.
“Those are all important but we are also here to mentor them and have them be able to be more secure about themselves. We want to teach the girls that it’s okay to be yourself and to not worry what other people think.”
On the last day, the football players and cheerleaders finished off their camps together. Football players were divided into teams and competed against each other as the cheerleaders cheered on the sidelines and performed at half time. The night was also topped off with food being provided by Brushfire BBQ Co.