GREENE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - The 7M Summer Camp returned for its third year in Greene County.
Children's Ministry Director at 7th and Mueller Church of Christ Evan Rippee said they want to give kids an opportunity to have some fun.
"What we're doing out here today is just one part of our 7M Summer Camp," Rippee said. "We offer this to kids throughout our community at no charge. Right now, we have five kids from Greene County Foster and several children who live in our community near our church building, several of our church members kids. We spend the week just doing camp stuff. We've been fishing today. We went horseback riding yesterday. We play lots of games and get really hot and sweaty. But most importantly we do it all together. The main focus is giving the kids a sense of community and camaraderie while also trying to develop a relationship with Jesus Christ. And that's really what we're wanting to do."
Rippee said they try to add different things each year.
"We fish every year, but one year we went canoeing," Rippee said. "This year we went horseback riding. Just to keep it interesting and fresh from one session to the next."
12-year-old Rose-Mary Howard visited the 7M Summer Camp for the first time this year.
She said she loved it.
"I love that we all spend time together and we do all kinds of cool activities that I love," Howard said. "Like, horseback riding, fishing and playing with bunnies. And also, making arts and crafts and soon we'll be going swimming."
Rippee said they want to give children a chance to do something they might not normally get to do.
"The camp is predominately for kids in our community," Rippee said. "We try to bring in kids we don't usually work with week to week. And we really want to offer a camp experience to kids that might not get to, or mom and dad are busy throughout the week. So, we really also want to make it possible to go to camp for kids that might not be in a situation to afford camp. That's why members of our church have made it a priority to no kid that comes to camp pays for camp. They go free of charge to enjoy the week."
9-year-old Sparrow Wilson said she caught her first fish at camp and had a blast.
"Mostly it's about coming outdoors," Wilson said. "Fishing and learning about God and worshiping God and things like that. It's fun."
"It's fun," Howard said. "It gets you out of the house. It helps you learn things, like about God. It helps you learn things. Like if you don't know how to swim, they can teach you how to swim."
Rippee said the camp is important to the kids that go there and the people who work to make it happen.
"7M Summer Camp is important to us because it gives us an opportunity to reach further into the community and get the name of Jesus out there to everyone," Rippee said. "And it offers a very important life experience for any kid that comes out to camp. With technology these days, a lot of kids during the summer spend their time indoors and 95% of camp is outdoors. So, we're offering an outdoor, interactive team building experience while also working on developing our spiritual selves and our relationships with God."
Around 30 kids are in the summer camp.
It ends on Wednesday with a worship devotional and awards ceremony for the kids' special achievements throughout the week.