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2020 JAM Camp Xenia Recap

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2020 JAM Camp Xenia Recap

Weekly Zoom Call Planning Meeting

JAM Camp 2020 – Great Power = Great Responsibility

The annual Athletes in Action (AIA) and Cru Inner City sports camp for high school inner city male athletes (JAM Camp) was held on August 8, 2020 at the AIA Sports Complex in Xenia Ohio. Thanks to the gracious financial support from the Motz Group Cincinnati, a total of ten individuals comprised of high school students, AIA staff and volunteers were able to participate in this summer's JAM Camp at no expense.

The theme of this year's camp was Great Power equals Great Responsibility in honor of Spiderman Day which is usually celebrated in early August. The goal of JAM Camp was to use sports and competition to inspire our young men physically, mentally and spiritually to appreciate the great power they have to live a passionate and purposeful life.

The physical challenges consisted of a series of athletic relay races. Students were challenged mentally through communication and leadership team events that helped demonstrate the power and responsibility they had to work for the success of their team. After each event staff and students discussed lessons learned from their experience and how they were able to use the power of their position to benefit the team.

Finally, students were encouraged spiritually to appreciate the

  1. Power of their Presence
    Their life is valuable because we are made in God's image
    They are a unique creation who have been fearfully and wonderfully made by God
  2. Power of their Position and Purpose
    God has designed us and placed us here for a unique purpose with talents and skills that He designed
    Each of our positions are important for the success of our teams (in sports and in life)
  3. With our Power, we have a great Responsibility
    To do good and positive things
    To do God's will…Jesus demonstrated this by His obedience even to death

Below are some of the comments and observations shared by students during camp:

  • As the oldest, I have power and responsibility to be a good example for my little brother and sister
  • My parents have great power because they provide for us
  • The elderly have great power because of their experiences and wisdom
  • It was uncomfortable and stressful when I was placed in roles on my team that were hard for me because I didn't want to let my team down
  • We should remember there are folks less fortunate than we are who also have struggles
  • A couple of students shared their struggles with anger and attention deficit disorders
  • A student shared that he had attended social justice rallies this summer and asked how we were dealing with social justice issues

The format for JAM Camp was modified to account for changes resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated healthcare guidelines for hosting sports camps.

Previous camps were held over multiple days with students housed in on campus dorms. Camp attendance was open to students and staff from across the country and there was no limitation on the population size for camp.

This year's camp was limited to a single day with invitations sent only to local residents. Additionally, social distancing guidelines and state mandates dictated the schedule for in person meetings and influenced the date for hosting JAM Camp at the AIA Sports Complex.

Bad weather forced the last-minute change of camp from August 1 to August 8, this change prevented 10 of the registered students from attending camp.

In spite of the unique challenges of planning and hosting this year's camp, there were a number of positive outcomes that will set the foundation for growth and increased support for future camps.

  1. JAM Camp successfully demonstrated the ability to host an in-person sports camp while adhering to state regulations as spelled out in the Covid-19 AIA Sports Event requirements.
  2. Planning and coordination for the modified JAM Camp began at the height of the social justice and racial tensions in the nation. Discussions on these topics helped influence the camp's theme. Some JAM Camp members participated in Zoom call webinars during the month of June with Momentum Ohio and other high school students and coaches from across the nation to discuss issues of social justice as well as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on their lives. Additionally, JAM Camp staff, volunteers and students participated in a breakout session to discuss personal observations and opinions on the pandemic and the social unrest.
  3. In spite of the low turnout for camp, new contacts to improve student and mentor recruitment in the local area were made with organizations to include the Victory Project, the Greene County Detention Center, Dayton Public Schools and Dayton area urban church pastors and parishioners.
  4. This one-day low-cost camp demonstrated that it is possible to hold JAM Camp at other key Cru Inner City locations as early as 2021.

John Oliver
JAM Camp Director
Athletes in Action

Topics: 2020 JAM Camp Xenia Recap



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7/10/2024 7:08:51 PM