Tuesday, 31 May 2016 11:36

Millar College hopes to give summer campers an Edge with unique combo of skillsets

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Edge Camps at Millar College of the Bible in Pambrun will definitely be interesting.


The school recently announced they will be having camps in volleyball, basketball and drama for youngsters. Registration is now open.
The post secondary school, which is located about 40 minutes southeast of Swift Current, has summer camp classes running in July and August including: July 18-22 Junior Basketball and Volleyball; July 25-30 Senior Volleyball; July 26-28 Squirt Camp; Aug. 1- 5 Junior Basketball, Volleyball and Drama; and Aug. 8-13, Senior Basketball, Volleyball and Drama.
Missy McComish, who is head of Student Life/Athletics who works alongside Athletics Director Kevin Smith amongst others on these camps, says the intervals are all part an parcel of building good people as well as helping the college.
"Camps fill a few needs for the College. On a practical level, we have buildings that are empty throughout the summer – aside from a few rental groups – so camps allow us to make use of the facilities that we have during a season where they normally would be empty," explains McComish. "Also on a practical level, it does give our student athletes the opportunity to learn and grow as coaches. We want our athletes to leave college understanding that they can impact today’s youth by being positive role models and using sports to build into others. Camps allows our students to put that into practice even while they are students. Many of them have been working on the National Coaching Certification through their classes at the College, so again, this provides a great opportunity to put that into practice. Many of our coaches grew up in small communities throughout the Prairie Provinces and recognize the value of having the opportunity to play a sport in the off season and gain more knowledge of the game. The hope is, that when the campers head back to their communities, they can contribute what they’ve learned to their local teams. "We want our camps to be a fun place to learn about sports. We work hard to build an environment that is encouraging and uplifting – on and off the court. The reality is, we are a Bible College and the coaches at our camps each have a story they want to share. Their story can be used to reach and encourage others. We want our student athletes to see that their experiences – good or bad – can be used to help others."
McComish notes that there isn't much issue in trying to find instructors of the summer camps. With Pambrun being a hamlet, the school is obviously the main source of employment outside of the agriculture industry. Many people live outside the community, but because the school is so impactful, they always seem
"We have been very blessed over the years to have coaches return for three, four and even five years," explains McComish. "This has been great for the campers to see consistency but also as we train younger coaches. To have some veterans around is always an asset. Our head coaches generally stay the same; our Athletic Department at the College has remained very stable with our Director, Kevin Peters heading into his 18th year in that role. Kevin founded the camps in 2000 and has been directly involved them every summer since. It is always exciting to work with college students in athletics and see them develop a desire to share their love of the game with others. These students are the ones who come back to help with camps year after year and we are thankful for them."
The camps are very popular. McComish says they try to have variety in our daily activities. Because they run volleyball, basketball and drama camps all simultaneously, campers get to interact with athletes in these other skills at various points throughout the day.
Another thing that has made camps unique is that they try to leave time for a lot of interaction – to hang out and chat while swimming or playing games. Often there are excellent friendships developed that are maintained well after camps are over.
"Over the years, we have offered different camps: soccer, track and field, conditioning. Some of these we’ve had to let go due to coaches moving on or due to interest from campers," says McComish. "Drama is fairly new to our structure and it has been very well received. The College has a great drama program so again, it provides an opportunity to build into communities by offering youth a place to come and learn more about it, and hopefully take that back to their hometowns. As well, it gives our college students a chance to teach others and hone their coaching skills.
"Campers obviously participate in their chosen skill (volleyball, basketball or drama), but they also go swimming, participate in group activities and have chapel times. We like to provide opportunity for our campers to ask the coaches life questions and to give them opportunity to build into one another’s lives. Chapel time is where the questions arise; it’s from here that our coaches are able to continue to discuss life issues with our campers and get them thinking beyond here and now, about faith and their relationship with God.
For more information, visit www.millarcollege.ca/edge-camps
or call 306-582-2033.

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor

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