Each year, the Kids Golf Foundation of Illinois offers numerous leadership, life, and golf opportunities to program participants. One way the Foundation has supported youth development is by providing scholarships to attend the unique Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) Junior Golf Camp.
FCA Camp takes place at Gongaware Junior Golf Academy in Franklin, Indiana; a site prized for its state-of-the-art practice facilities and dedicated instructors. Not only do the participants receive excellent golf instruction, but the camp also focuses on building character and spirituality. Small groups led by Huddle leaders meet at least twice a day to discuss the Bible, chapel time, and other life experiences. Huddle leaders, typically college students, serve as mentors throughout the week and at times have stayed in touch with participants after camp.
The Jeffery Bullock Scholarship offered by the Kids Golf Foundation covers the $600 camp registration fee. Candidates for this scholarship are nominated through their local golf program and undergo an application process. Since 2000, the Foundation has awarded over 70 scholarships to participants ages 13-18. The Foundation also provides scholarship recipients with a Tee Gift, which includes golf polos, water bottles, hats, golf balls, and more. Therefore, the only out-of-pocket expenses for the participants are for travel and spending money.
This year, the Foundation was able to send a record number of nine individuals to attend this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Participant Keirsten Rasberry, 13, brought her experience back to her church congregation to speak about both golf and faith, “In addition to having fun, I became a better golfer, met new friends, and, most importantly, I developed a closer walk with Christ. I came to camp unable to hit a ball farther than 50 yards. By the time camp was over, I was hitting the ball anywhere from 120 to 150 yards… this was definitely a life-changing experience.”
The FCA Camp staff consistently provides an encouraging experience which benefits not only the campers, but the communities of all involved. “FCA Junior Golf Camp is one of my favorite summer initiatives,” said Rachel Verive, Foundation Manager. “Hearing the joy from our campers and their families brings the positive energy that FCA staff has created back to our local golf programs.”
The Foundation appreciates the opportunity to work with FCA Golf each year and is involved in just one of the sports camps hosted across the country. The Foundation is dedicated to bringing the sport of golf into the lives of children and providing them with opportunities for personal growth and career enhancement. To learn about the Kids Golf Foundation and ways to get involved, visit our website at www.kidsgolffoundation.org.