Reflections of Summer Camp

By Sarah Kirkwood

As I sit high above the athletic field, breathing in the fresh mountain air and soaking in the sun, I can’t help but be reminded of my childhood.  The hours after school and almost every weekend were spent outdoors- biking through the neighborhood, boating with my family or enjoying our backyard swing set.

This summer, I was given the incredible opportunity to return to a place I love- Camp Coleman.  Located in Cleveland, Georgia at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, Coleman is a home away from home for hundreds.  Children travel from all over the Southeast to spend a month at camp- a place where they are free to be kids and have a plethora of activities to enjoy.  One of the things I love most about camp- it is a place where campers and staff unplug and have the chance to enjoy nature, physical activity and the each other’s company.

Here at Coleman, the terrain is hilly and the walks are long- the trek to breakfast is a workout itself!  Not only do we spend most of our time outdoors, but every camper participates in a structured sports hour every day.  Options range from tennis to soccer, roller hockey to basketball and more.  This period gives campers the opportunities to improve their skills within each sport while simultaneously learning lessons that they can apply to their every day lives.  Campers learn to work together to get a volleyball back over the net; respect when both teams shake hands after a well-played soccer game; kindness when they encourage each other to do their best.

While sports teams have incredible community programs in place across the country, the act of participating in a sport can do wonders for a child.  The activity is great for their physical health and they will learn life lessons along the way.


sarah-kirkwoodAbout the Author
Sarah Kirkwood was born and raised in Jacksonville and considers herself to be a true beach girl.  This soon-to-be Gator grad is finishing up her degree in public relations and is excited about the opportunities that await her after graduation.  A life-long love of sports and a first hand knowledge of how teams can positively impact a community has inspired her to seek a career in the sports field.