KidsGames states on their website, “KidsGames is a faith-based movement using experiential games, sports and creative giftedness to teach children character through Biblical principles, wellness education & prevention, and the next generation of youth leadership.” Brian Worsley is the man to thank for bringing KidsGames to Lowell. This is the second year the event will take place at Cherry Creek Elementary School. He’s also quick to say he gets much more out of the week-long event than he puts into it.
Let the Games Begin
KidsGames serves local communities in six locations around West Michigan. This is only the second year in Lowell but the organization has been around for more than 15 years. Worsley refers to the initiative as a “global movement” as events take place in over 150 countries. KidsGames events are for those entering preschool through 5th grade. But older students are encouraged to learn leadership skills by volunteering to run games and interact with the younger kids.
In West Michigan each location determines set-up and how the camp is run. Lowell’s camp will be held Monday, July 17 through Friday, July 21 from 6pm-8:30pm. The week-long event is modeled after the Olympics and kicks off with an opening ceremony and ends with a closing ceremony for kids and caregivers. Parents can stay and watch during camp but most drop off and pick up at the end of day’s activities.
Last year over 100 campers participated and 48 volunteers made things run smoothly. High school and middle school volunteers oversee group and game time. They’re able to learn valuable leadership skills and are looked up upon by younger participants. Adult volunteers help coordinate and guide where needed.
KidsGames isn’t about sports. It’s about having fun playing. “Kids are encouraged to play a different game each night. We aren’t teaching technique just how to play games, have fun and try something new.” says Worsley. Special high school, college or pro athlete guests talk to campers about how sports have made a difference in their life.
Camp is free for all participants. Private sponsors and friends and family donate and many of the volunteers provide resources in order to offer a week of games for kids free of charge. Registration is requested by July 10 so the group can plan appropriately for the number of participants. However, they will take walk up registrations until the start of camp at 6pm on July 17. On the Lowell information page there is also information on how to volunteer.
KidsGames is beneficial for all who are involved. Campers have fun playing games and learning how they can teach life lessons. High school and middle school students learn about leadership and being a role model for younger kids. And adults guide and are able to witness numerous positives.
Preschool and kindergarten aged children can choose from one of two tracks. A different game will be played each evening. Older kids can select five games from a list varied list including, track & field, soccer, octoball, fishing, Nerf wars, Ninjas on the Move, and more!
Photos courtesy of KidsGames and used with permission.
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