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Campers awaited for 5th Challenge

June 10, 2003|by MARLO BARNHART

marlob@herald-mail.com

CLEAR SPRING - Camp Challenge 2003 is ready to get under way for its fifth year.

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

Two camps will serve more than 94 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 25 to 29 for about 74 children between the ages of 8 and 11, Wilson said.

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From July 16 to 20, a second camp session will be offered for ages 12 to 16.

The first three years, both camps were held at Skycroft, which is about a mile from Washington Monument Park on South Mountain. Camp Challenge moved to Fairview last summer.

As in past years, Sharon and Bob Wilson have rounded up parents, volunteers, money and materials for the camp.

More than a dozen organizations and churches are helping with funding this year.

A $5,000 grant also was received from the Washington County Community Partnership for Children and Families, Sharon Wilson said.

Lorne Diggs, a local minister, will lead activities at the camp, which this year has the theme "Armor of God."

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.

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 July 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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