Monday, June 27, 2022 |
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KALAHEO — Sports is a universal language and the kids love to run and jump and be involved in all kinds of outdoor and indoor activities, said John Zimmerman of the Kalaheo Missionary Church Wednesday.
John and Paula Zimmerman, who moved to the Kalaheo Missionary Church in November, oversaw the activity taking place at Kato Gym, located just up the hill from the church, where more than 170 youngsters were engaged in the Beyond the Gold Sports Camp organized by Uncharted Waters Sports Ministry.
“This is more than last year when we had 160 kids registered, but about 130 coming out to participate,” said Kristi Akamine of Kaua‘i Christian Fellowship. “Our first camp, about six years ago, had 50 students.”
Akamine said 170 kids were there for the Kalaheo site with another 60 registered at the Wailua Houselots site.
“Every day, we’ve gotten new kids,” Akamine said. “We also have a lot of volunteers, 60 coming out in Kalaheo to help with registration, setting up tents, cleaning, First Aid and more.”
She said one parent brought her two daughters to video the camp, and the Lihu‘e Boys & Girls Club had so many volunteers, they arrived in a school bus.
“This is just the community in action,” said Eileen Taba, one of the program’s organizers. “We have a team from Uncharted Waters here and there’s a visitor from Germany who found out about this at church and wanted to volunteer. We also have two boys participating from Alaska. We’re just community moms.”
Zimmerman said in addition to working and developing skills in basketball, soccer, cheerleading and flag football, the camp teaches great life skills that transcend sports and students get to use these skills in their home and at school.
“They get to be really good kids for at least two or three weeks,” Akamine said, chuckling. “The parents really love how the kids become better behaved.”
Taba said in addition to the core of volunteers, they were able to supply scholarships for children who could not afford camp as well as provide shoes and socks for children who needed them due to the generosity of Wal-mart, the Big Kmart, Costco and several generous individuals.
“The volunteers have been working on this since last year,” Zimmerman said. “The concept of sports being universal is so well accepted, Eileen took five people to Thailand in the spring to teach people there how to go about setting up these sports camps.”
Tiffany Hadden of the Uncharted Waters program in Colorado said they have programs in several states and in other countries, she being able to travel to Africa to set up a sports camp program.
Taba said they are looking ahead to next year’s camp which will be in the third week of July.
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