Bible study camp keeps growing

Published 6:34 pm Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The House of Peace Worship Church’s Peace Pal Camp for the Community has been steadily growing. After starting as a Bible study camp for members of the church, last year it was opened up to the whole community. This year, around 200 kids ages 5-17 have attended, with more on the waiting list.

The camp, which runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, does include a Bible study element, but has tried to expand to help the kids in other ways as well.

“I solicited the help of a lot of volunteers and retired teachers, and what we do is we actually have a combination of things,” Linda Sweezer, the pastor at The House of Peace Worship Church, said. “We have Bible teaching, we have educational enrichment where we have people that are tutoring them in English, math, writing, all those major subjects that they have to deal with, and also do a spelling bee.”

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In addition to that, the camp has computer lab time, and music and art labs and gym time where kids can play in the gym or with toys in the dining room.

Sweezer said she is extremely grateful for the help of the volunteers.

“A lot of people don’t understand the power of children, really the impartation of sowing the time and energy into these children,” Sweezer said.

Sweezer said the camp’s mission is to invest in and help the children in the community.

“That’s what Jesus did, and that’s what I feel like He told me to do,” Sweezer said. “We’ve been reaching children all the time, but why not reach more? A lot of these kids have nothing to do in the summer time, and if we can bring them in and give them Bible lessons, and then keep them refreshed, so when school starts, they won’t be behind. They’ll still be refreshed in math and English and spelling and writing. It’s about helping out children; it’s biblical.”

One of the ways the camp seeks to help the kids is with guest speakers and counselors from the Peace Play Counseling Services coming in to speak to the kids.

“I enlisted some therapists to talk about bullying, anger management, self esteem building, we’re doing all of that with some professional, licensed counselors,” Sweezer said. “So they come in periodically, and they do these extra groups for the kids, and the kids are loving it.”

Sweezer said the camp has been amazing thus far.

“It’s about making sure they get that Bible lesson first, but it’s also about making sure they get these other pieces and getting these kids to talk about what they’re dealing with and how they’re feeling,” Sweezer said. “The goal is that I want to see these kids do well at school. I want them to do well in mind body and spirit, it’s holistic. It’s a very unique approach that we have.”