FAIRMONT - Next week, incoming area fourth- through eighth-graders are invited to attend a new sports camp at the Fairmont High School.
The camp, led by Rex Hernes and Kevin Hugoson, will offer high school coaches and athletes to help youth improve athletic abilities in soccer, basketball, track, football for boys, and volleyball for girls.
In addition to building muscles and coordination, students will be building character and sportsmanship.
The camp is run by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
"For too many people, their faith is one part of their life and sports are another," Hernes said. "They do sports on Friday and church on Sunday. It can be combined."
The camp's theme is RELENTLESS, taken from Hebrews 10:39: "But we are not those who draw back and are destroyed, but those who have faith and obtain life."
Hernes and Hugoson are advisors to the high school's FCA chapter, which has been meeting once per week at the high school since 2006.
Student athletes meet and discuss different topics, ranging from sportsmanship to general life issues. The group is largely student directed.
Hugoson said he was drawn to lead the group because of its teachings, and the idea of how a coach can impact a child.
"(FCA) is non-denominational," he said. "It is the real deal. It is not sugar-coated. The mission is to see the world impacted for Christ.
" A coach has a tremendous impact on kids. People are looking for role models."
Hugoson said the sports camp planned for next week is new to Fairmont, but has been going strong in Waseca for 22 years. Waseca's leader has been giving pointers to Hugoson and Hernes.
The camp will start out with about two hours of sports clinic training by high school coaches, followed by lunch brought by the students. The afternoon involves spending time in co-ed huddle groups led by a student athlete and playing sports. Pastor Jerry Bertholet, from East Chain Evangelical Free Church, will give a short talk each day.
"This is the first year," Hernes said. "We don't know how it will go. But Waseca has been doing this for 22 years, with 200 kids and a waiting list for huddle leaders."
Students will choose which sport of the four sports offered to focus on each day. The student does not have to be on a team to choose a sport, and can choose the same sport each day or choose two over the course of the camp.
"We don't need these kids to be superstars on the field to come to camp," Hugoson said. "Everyone can come."
Camp is from 9:30 am.- 4 p.m. Aug. 6, and 9:45 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Aug. 7. Registration includes a T-shirt, New Testament Bible, and a family pizza bash at the end of the second day.
The cost of the sports camp is $30. Scholarships are available. Call Hugoson at (507) 399-9159 or Hernes at (507) 848-1872 for more information and to register.