SOI staff member Don Brenneman partners with churches to host soccer camps each summer for children in the Portland area. Below is the report from the most recent camp held in partnership with Newberg Christian Church in the summer of 2012:
“Well done volunteers! Seventy-three K thru 5th graders enjoyed a week of soccer on the “beautiful” field of George Fox University. It’s always best to partner with the local church and “family pastor”; Jason Dick is great to work with. He commented that this year over 65% of the participants are families outside the church whom he did not know. That’s a good way to reach into the community.
Each day the campers improved their skills on the soccer field and were able to get a glimpse of the African world through videos and coaches. Our afternoon coaches teaching times provided a great opportunity for expanding a kid’s worldview. Many thanks to coach Sonko (who grew up in Kenya) and to Thuy Wise who served for a year with Sports Outreach in Uganda and Kenya. Coach Cole and Matt were a big hit with the kids. I also counted it a privilege to have my daughter Jordyn help coach again this year. She is planning to be playing on the field as a freshman at George Fox in the fall.
Success is sometimes a difficult thing to measure but smiles and hugs certainly show there was a great deal of fun in the week. Our community service day (picking up garbage in the area) helped the young people gain a perspective of supporting and giving back to others. On the last day, the campers had an opportunity to sign a soccer ball and donate it to the children in Africa. We had over 30 young people donate their ball. Maybe that is the best measure of our camp.” – Don Brenneman, Director of SOI Portland