North Raleigh: Community

Faith in Focus: Runner’s Camp blends athletics and faith

This summer marks the 19th time young athletes will gather in Wake Forest to learn about track and field and faith.

Runner’s Camp is open to boys and girls ages 6 through 12.

“We have this camp that serves to help kids grow spiritually,” said Rob Craig, found of Runner’s Camp and outreach pastor at North Wake Church in Wake Forest. “It is based on the sport of track and field but we have a spiritual component where the kids come for teaching done by age-group leading adults. We share the Gospel each day as a part of the camp.”

Three camp sessions will take place this summer, including one in the evenings at the park behind Wake Forest Middle School. The week culminates with a track meet for campers at Heritage High School.

It all started when Craig, a track athlete at Brevard Junior College and UNC, was asked to coach.

“About 20 years ago I was serving here as a pastor, and the senior pastor at the church asked if I would give some instruction to his daughter whom he thought was a pretty good athlete,” Craig said. “From asking for that kind of coaching I decided to start a camp that would teach some of the events of track and field but would also have built into it a component of sharing the Gospel and teaching the Gospel as part of the camp.”

The first year, 40 children took part in the training and won ribbons at the track meet at the end of the week. This year, Craig said, up to 775 campers are expected.

“The camp developed its own momentum and has just gotten bigger and bigger and bigger,” he said.

Craig relies on volunteers to help with the daily tasks of running the camp. About 125 teenagers help out.

“We set this camp up every day, and we have to put it away, because it’s a park,” he said. “A lot of the kids come to the camp until they are 12 and after they age out at 12 they want to come back and help. They know how the camp works.

“We have kids who have been part of the camp and are now old enough to lead groups as an adult. That’s neat to see they have been involved in it that long. We have kids who came when they were 5 and now they are 17 and 18 and they come back and are serving as adults. That is a blessing to me.”

For for more information, including camp dates and registration, go to www.runnerscamp.org.

Community Night Under the Stars

Baptist Grove Church will host Community Night Under the Stars on Friday, June 10.

The movie “Home” will be shown on the church lawn, and the event will also feature popcorn, face painting, games and music.

Seating will begin at 7 p.m., and the movie will be shown at dusk, around 8:15 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Guests are asked to bring their owns chairs or blankets, snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.

Baptist Grove Church is located at 7109 Leesville Road, Raleigh.

Carla Turchetti compiles Faith in Focus each week. Email her with details of upcoming events at carla.turchetti.writer@gmail.com.

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