Summer Day Camp begins today

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 10, 2007

The Selma Times-Journal

The time has come again for another fun season at Camp Grist, the summer retreat of Alabama’s oldest YMCA. As this summer’s theme suggests, “Let the adventure begin.”

Founded in 1946 and named for the man who spent a lifetime influencing area youth, Camp Grist is preparing for the upcoming camping sessions. Camp Grist works to develop – in the words of the YMCA’s mission –

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a healthy body, mind, and spirit in the youth of Selma and Dallas County. According to YMCA Program Director Jamie Tellier, everything is just about in place.

Allen Bearden will serve as Camp Director, and he will have two Assistant Directors, Greg Bergeron and Ashley Strickland. The YMCA has hired approximately 15 young adults who will serve as counselors.

Many of the counselors grew up attending Camp Grist every year. They are now too old to be campers, but still wish to help with the camp.

One such counselor is Kirk Cogle, who now attends Auburn University. During the previous two summers, he helped at the summer camps whenever he was needed.

This year he has the opportunity to work as a first-year counselor.

“I am looking forward to working with the campers,” says Cogle. “As a counselor, it is our job to help promote fellowship in a healthy environment and a love for the outdoors among the children.”

Camp Grist has impacted many lives, and it is the values and the lessons learned that has people like Cogle excited. “God first, others second, and I am third” is one motto the campers will learn.

The 2007 Camp Grist schedule begins today with Summer Day Camp,

and will continue until Aug. 3. Campers will spend the mornings at Camp Grist and return in the afternoons for other activities.

Camp Grist also offers a Residence Camp from July 15-21 and a Mini-Residence Camp from July 25-28. All camps are open to ages 5-12, and spaces are still open.

“As of now, we have about 55 campers registered per session,” says Tellier, “but we would like to have around 75-100 per week.”

Camp activities will include hiking, sports, arts and crafts, archery, riflery, swimming, canoeing, spiritual devotional time and character building activities.

Campers will see many improvements to the scenic facility. Last summer, a group of former campers, directors, and counselors established the Camp Grist Alumni Association.

“The Camp Grist Alumni Association,” says Tellier, “has spent a lot of time cleaning the grounds, painting, and re-roofing and re-screening cabins.”

Camp Grist will soon be a flurry of activity as area boys and girls participate in this summer classic.

Let the adventure begin.