WinShape Camp seeks sponsors

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The organizers of a faith-based summer day camp coming to Vicksburg in June are seeking sponsors to make sure children from the first through sixth grades are able to take advantage of the features the camp offers, the director of the camp’s parent organization told members of the Vicksburg Kiwanis Club.

WinShape Camp, which was established in 1985 by Chick-Fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy, as a way to challenge young people physically and spiritually, will be in Vicksburg June 2 through 5 at Crossway Church on U.S. 61 South. Vicksburg is one of 72 cities across the U.S. to host a camp.

“This is an opportunity for the community to reach 500 kids who might otherwise not have the chance to attend a camp like this,” said Larry Cox, senior director of International and Operational Services for Chick-fil-A’s WinShape Foundation, which sponsors the camp.

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“We want to make it possible for kids from all areas of the community to be able to go to camp,” he said. “The fee is $196/per student, which is a bit for a lot of people. We’re hoping to get some scholarships for some kids. We’d like to raise a fund to provide for children whose parents can’t afford the fee to go to camp. We’re hoping some of the area churches will help out.”

Cox said the camp is one of several programs sponsored by the Winshape Foundation, a faith-based organization founded by Cathy.

Besides the camp program, Winshape also offers an outdoor leadership program, operates 13 foster homes in Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia, maintains programs to strengthen marriages and heal broken ones, runs a conference and retreat center and ministers to Chick-fil-A employees.

He said the company grants franchises in an unusual way by being very selective of the people they chose to be owners, adding 25,000 people apply for a franchise, “but only 80 are selected. It is very competitive.”

With the exception of a Chick-fil-A franchise opening soon in Canada, he said, all the company’s franchises are in the United States. Its business philosophy, however, is taught in 32 other countries.

The company’s business philosophy, he said, is based on five principles: see and shape the future; engage and develop others; re-invent continuously (be prepared to change); value results and relationships; and embody the values — the values that can make a business successful.

“We have teams that go to the different countries overseas to teach our principles to businesses and organizations,” he said.

The overseas training sessions, he added, does not mean Chick-fil-A is expanding overseas anytime soon. That may happen later, he said, “but not soon. We would like to expand overseas, and when we do, we’ll pick where we want to go.”



About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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