There’s no ‘I’ in ‘TEAM.’ It’s an adage nearly as old as competition itself. But Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA, www.fca.org) is working to send a message of ultimate teamwork—even building upon the principles of Jesus and His disciples.
Every summer for the past 60 years, FCA has focused on building up coaches and athletes around the world through its successful and impactful Camps program. Those who love both sports and Christ can choose from seven different types of Camps that serve as a time of “inspiration and perspiration” for coaches, athletes and teams: Leadership Camps, Partnership Camps, Sports Camps, Team Camps, Power Camps, Coaches Camps and International Camps.
Says One Camper: We Went into FCA Camp Calling Ourselves
a Team, But We Weren’t; Our Teammates Helped Us Have
More Faith in Each Other and Grow Closer as a Team
Team Camps equip teams with spiritual principles through competition and are designed to impact coaches and athletes for Christ through team competition. Coaches enroll their players to attend this Camp as a team. Team Camps are a wonderful outreach opportunity, and coaches benefit greatly by evaluating their team’s talent. Team Camps also serve coaches by providing an incredible Camp experience for their players while building team unity.
“Over the years, FCA Camps have provided amazing opportunities for coaches, athletes and teams to come together, united in their love of sports and love for Jesus,” said Ron Frank, FCA’s Vice President of Field Ministry for the Pacific Northwest Region. “Each summer, we watch athletes grow into strong, godly leaders, and praise God when He changes hearts and lives, whether athletes come to camp already believers or if God draws them to Himself at Camp.”
Frank and his team are preparing for their region’s flagship multi-sport Camp in June. Missouri and Kansas camps may be found HERE.
“I’ve been around FCA for a long time—23-plus years—and we have never experienced God at work at an FCA Camp quite like in Nampa, Idaho,” Frank said. “This is due to the spiritual leadership and the prayers covering the Camp, and it also accomplishes three goals: one, for kids to grow in their sport experience; two, from a relational standpoint, for them to have a great time as they make new friends from different areas and cultures; and three, and most importantly, that each of them grows toward Christ.”
FCA Team Camps help coaches and athletes carry principles of biblical teamwork throughout the season—as well as the four FCA core values of Integrity, Serving, Teamwork and Excellence—as evidenced by feedback year after year:
- “I love FCA Team Camp! It is an incredible time to pour into athletes and coaches that work together throughout the year. It gives FCA an opportunity to reach the whole team—coaches and athletes—create a team bond, establish Jesus Christ as the center and carry that out throughout the school year.”—FCA Staff
- “We went into FCA Camp calling ourselves a team, but we found out we really weren’t. The practices and time with our coaches and teammates helped us have more faith in each other and grow closer as a team.”—Camper
- “The coaches are great—they’re pouring into us and our workouts. But my favorite part of Camp is probably the program because you have hundreds of kids around you worshipping at the same time.”—Camper
FCA has released a new Bible reading plan in conjunction with YouVersion for the 2016 Camps season. The RISE devotional plan addresses the fact that every competitor faces a moment in his or her career when they must rise. Jesus Christ gives strength and courage to carry faith into sports and make a difference for Him. The FCA RISE devotional tackles issues that coaches and athletes face during competition and in life. The 31-day plan will also help establish a consistent, daily quiet time with God, and includes extra readings and suggested prayer. On the devotional and reading plan web page, coaches and athletes can also download a prayer bookmark.
In the coming months, hundreds of Camps are planned all around the country and will reach upwards of 100,000 participants. In 2015, FCA’s Camps ministry experienced a record-breaking year, with a total attendance of 94,505 at 619 Camps in 41 states and 36 countries around the world. This year’s FCA Camp theme centers on “RISE” and the Bible verse: “This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go”—Joshua 1:9 (NLT). FCA also has a special web site dedicated to this summer’s Camps season highlighting the “RISE” theme.
For the immensely popular Camps ministry, FCA takes the best attributes of both athletic- and spiritual-focused camp events and combines them into an athletic/spiritual experience like none other. Camps also remove athletes and coaches from the rut and routine of their sport, friends/co-workers and community, and place them into an exciting and healthy athletic environment that allows them to pursue their passion for sport and clearly see and hear Christ’s passion for them.
Besides Team Camps, other types of FCA Camps include:
- Sports Camps specifically focus on “Training the Total Athlete” and develop athletes mentally, physically and spiritually. Sports Camps are for athletes and coaches who want to develop their athletic skills through outstanding instruction, skill development and intense competition.
- Leadership Camps train athletes to be spiritual leaders in their personal lives, on their teams and on their campuses. These Camps are geared toward student-athletes, FCA Huddle Coaches and volunteers who serve as leaders. Camps focus on teaching practical skills for Christian growth, developing effective leaders and preparing participants for FCA Huddle ministry.
- Partnership Camps work with other ministries and organizations involved in sports ministry. At Partnership Camps, FCA develops a relationship with an existing Camp to provide the spiritual and/or the athletic aspect of the program. This can include FCA Camp curriculum, FCA resources, speakers, Huddle meetings and staff.
- Power Camps develop young athletes in their faith and their sport. Power Camps are typically for young athletes ages 8 to 12 who want to develop their sports skills. These Camps provide excellent instruction and competition through sports-specific and multi-sport focus, and are normally day Camps that involve the local community.
- Coaches Camps challenge coaches in their faith and family life, and allow coaches to be spiritually, relationally and professionally refreshed. Coaches Camps are for single and married coaches and their families and are designed to minister, to equip and to encourage. FCA Camps minister to coaches through Bible studies, small groups, fellowship, prayer support, discipleship and mentoring.
- International Camps focus on worldwide impact and reach coaches and athletes around the globe.
FCA staff lead Camps, and the 4,000-plus instructors have been carefully selected and consist of FCA staff, current collegiate and high school coaches, professional athletes, and current and former college athletes. Together, they bring years of coaching, performance and FCA Camp experience, and serve as role models for campers both on and off the field. Every Camp is led by certified FCA staff, and directors have been trained and certified as FCA Camp leaders.
To find Camps in specific areas or to inquire about volunteering or attending an FCA Camp, visit www.fcacamps.org. For more information about the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, visit FCA’s web site at www.fca.org, its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fcafans or its Twitter feed @fcanews.