Camp Viola provides fun, fellowship for local schoolchildren

Published 9:14 pm Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Canoes full of children raced down the lake at Camp Viola Wednesday morning. The camp is held for children who otherwise might not be able to attend a camp this summer.

Rosemont Baptist Church sponsored this week’s camp, which is organized by ten local churches. This week’s camp was for Rosemont Elementary and Ethel Kight Elementary schools and 43 children attended.

Campers participate in arts and crafts, music, Bible study and recreation. This week the children have already been visited by the Jungle Bus, Kona Ice and the fire department.

“The whole purpose of [the camp] is that we are providing an opportunity for children who may not have another vacation and cannot afford to go to another camp,” said Anne Ellington, head cook for Rosemont’s camp. “And we are able to reach so many people in our community with this camp. That’s the reason we do it because of all the people we can reach and teach them about God and invite them to church.”

Acting director Maggie Powell said the theme this year was teaching children the armor of God for when they go out into the world. Powell said the camp started Sunday night and ends Thursday back at the church with a celebration.

“[Thursday] night at the church we take all of our kids back at our church, and we have a fun night for the families to come,” Powell said.

The camp was created in 1926 by Viola Burke as a free camp for students.

The campground is now managed by Twin Cedars Youth and Family Services, which lets the churches host the camps.

“It’s just a great week. They have so much fun, they laugh, they play games,” Ellington said. “They’re getting a lot of things they need here, a lot of attention, a lot of hearing the word of God, a lot of good food, a lot of fun fellowship.”

Kayley Goodwin said she has had a lot of fun this week. The elementary school student said it was her second time attending.

“This one is better [camps] because they have a lot more fun stuff and activities,” Goodwin said.