Thursday, September 22, 2011

LiFE Sports at Ohio State--more than a camp

“Ohio State's College of Social Work and Department of Athletics have teamed up to utilize their expertise in positive youth development and prevention to address issues of school failure, substance use, and juvenile delinquency. The collaboration created the Learning in Fitness & Education through Sports (LiFE Sports) initiative to enhance the quality of youth development, sport and recreational programs through service and outreach, teaching and learning, and research.

A central component of the initiative is its annual four-week summer LiFE Sports camp that serves more than 600 youth ages 10-18 on the Ohio State campus. Unlike most summer programs, however, LiFE Sports is "More than sports. More than camp."
It’s interesting how similar in mission and vision this sounds to the outdoor camping experiences offered by churches and service organizations when I was growing up. Like Camp Emmaus of the Church of the Brethren, or School of Missions camp on Lake Geneva in Wisconsin that I attended, Boy Scout Camp my husband attended, Camp Willson run by the YMCA where my son attended, or Camp Wyandot for the Campfire Girls when my daughter was young.

All except that “research” component, and in parsing that sentence, I can’t quite figure out who is doing the research--the youth, the social workers or the athletes. Maybe our camp counselors were doing research, but I don't think so.

Our camps, too, were more than “sports,” more than camp. They were a place for spiritual growth, for wisdom and understanding, for growing strong in Christ.

From my scrapbook, 1950, with both my name and town incorrect

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