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Camp Challenge taking its show on the road to outdoor school

June 18, 2002|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN - For its fourth summer, Camp Challenge 2002 is going on the road.

This year, the nondenominational, nonprofit Christian camp will be held at the Fairview Outdoor School north of Clear Spring.

Two camps will serve more than 80 youngsters, camp co-director Sharon Wilson said.

Camp Challenge is a sleepover camp for disadvantaged children and is designed to give "city kids" a chance to experience life in the outdoors.

"The first camp will be June 26 to 30 for about 60 children between the ages of 8 and 11," Wilson said.

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From Aug. 12 to 16, a second camp session will be offered for youngsters ages 12 to 14.

The last three years, both camps were held at Skycroft, which is about a mile from Washington Monument Park on South Mountain.

As in past years, Sharon and Bob Wilson have rounded up volunteers, money and materials for the camp. More than a dozen organizations are helping with funding this year.

A bonus took the form of a $5,000 grant from the Washington County Community Partnership for Children and Families, Sharon Wilson said.

Tyree Sterling, a Hagerstown youth minister, will lead activities at the camp, which this year has the theme "Romans' Road."

"The cost per camper is about $200 a child for the five-day outing," Sharon Wilson said. While no money is required from the campers, Wilson said each camper is asked to contribute what he or she can afford.

The rental is approximately $10,000, including the cost of food for both sessions.

The Wilsons, who are members of Bethel Assembly of God in Hagerstown, said the people who have worked to make the camp a reality are coming together for a common good.

Each day begins with breakfast, followed by outdoor chapel, field day activities and trips to the swimming pool in Hancock. There will be praise team and talent show activities, as well as first-aid classes, wood lore and Bible study.

The older children in August will go to Cedar Ridge Children's Home for classes on ropes and to the Potomac River for a canoe trip headed by Camp Challenge board members and other volunteers.

All campers will get certificates for achievement and a notebook with photographs so they will remember the experience.

For more information or to send contributions, call 301-432-2855.

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