CU Softball Team does mission work at Camp Eagle in Virginia

CU Softball Team does mission work at Camp Eagle in Virginia

May 15, 2014
For Immediate Release

 Kendyl Ahrens, a Campbellsville University junior from Poseyville, Ind., cleans windows at Camp Eagle.
 (Campbellsville University Photo by Richard RoBards)

By Richard RoBards, sports information assistant

FINCASTLE, Va. — It was Camp Cleaning 101 for members of Lady Tiger Softball as Campbellsville University attacked its Christian Service Project (CSP) as part of the NCCAA National Tournament's Wednesday, May 14 agenda.

For all you mommas out there reading this, your daughter(s) are now certified to wash windows, paint bathroom stalls, pull weeds, clean ceiling fans, mop floors, blow leaves, power wash a "Launch Blob," and lock themselves in a walk-in freezer.

The work detail was part of multiple CSPs undertaken by all schools participating in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) Women's Softball Championship, which will be played May 15-17 at the Botetourt Sports Complex in Troutville.

Campbellsville University softball senior co-captain Heather Oakley of Lexington, Ky., and head coach Shannon Wathen (right) dig up weeds on the Camp Eagle grounds Wednesday morning. (Campbellsville University Photo by Richard RoBards)

"It's extremely important for us to learn how to give back and realize how privileged we are and use our talents as servant leaders," said CU head coach Shannon Wathen, as she pitched in with the weed brigade.

She said her seniors are still talking about Evelyn Blake, a then 91-year-old (in 2011) retired teacher and resident at The Glebe — a Christian-based retirement home nestled in the valley between the Blue Ridge and Allegheny mountains. That year, the team helped the residents by working in their gardens.

Last year the team worked at a Habitat for Humanity warehouse in Roanoke. "They were surprised at how much people donate and didn't realize how much goes in to Habitat projects," Wathen said.

Ten women's softball teams met at 8:30 a.m. at Fincastle Baptist Church where Tim Craiger of SCORE (Sharing Christ Our Redeemer Enterprises) International brought a devotional message centered on impacting the world.

"Be a voice, living a Chris-like life," he said. "People will notice."

Campbellsville's team was led to Camp Eagle by camp director Stan Long, the only full-time member of the staff. Long said the gravel access road was a little intimidating, but passable.

Stan Long, director of Camp Eagle, leans up against his truck and talks with the Campbellsville University softball team after a long morning of cleaning up the camp grounds Wednesday. (Campbellsville University Photo by Richard RoBards)


"This is huge for us," he said. "To have a team come in here and help us prepare for the opening of camp … you can't really describe what this means to us and the kids that will follow in a few weeks."

Camp Eagle ministers to about 700 children each summer through the outreach of Shennondoah Baptist Church, some from inner city upbringings.

"We make no bones about it," continued Long. "We're highly evangelistic with 48 percent of the campers accepting Christ after a week's stay."

Campbellsville University softball players Taylor Wroe (Hawesville, Ky.), Alyssa Barker (Frankfort, Ky.), Kennedy Shutter (Kankakee, Ill.) and Courtney Turpin (Lawrenceburg, Ky.) pressure wash and clean the "launch blob" at Camp Eagle. (Campbellsville University Photo by Richard RoBards)

Long said he enjoys being with groups like CU and seeing their servant hearts at work.

"We separate these campers from the world and feed them with the Word of God … about seven times a day."

But it wasn't all work for the team as Long and a couple of his camp personnel divided the team in half and played a game called "Fresh" — a cross between a Chinese fire drill and running with the bulls.

Basically it's a game of tag on steroids … and some of the girls may need some after physically exerting themselves for 30 minutes.

"Things like this are humbling," said senior first baseman and team co-captain Heather Oakley. "It makes me step back and appreciate what I have.

"There are other people in the world who need help, and I'm just glad I could lend a hand — be a friend to other people."

Game Day
Due to the high likelihood of rain and thunderstorms throughout Thursday afternoon, the schedule for NCCAA Softball National Championship opening round games has been altered.

In an attempt to allow each team to play at least one game prior to the anticipated weather, games will be played on three fields, with games 1-3 beginning at 8 a.m. Games 4-6 will begin 20 minutes following the completion of the game on their respective field.

Campbellsville (42-19) is making its fourth consecutive appearance to the NCCAA Championships after finishing third in the regular seasons rankings and earning an at-large bid. CU will meet Mississippi College in the first round Thursday for the third time in two weeks. Mississippi College shut out CU, 3-0 and 1-0, in the double-elimination NCCAA Mid-East Region Tournament last week in Clinton, Miss.

The altered schedule for Thursday is as follows:

Thursday, May 15 Schedule:
Game 1 (Field 3): No. 9 Cedarville vs. No. 8 Central Baptist (H)
Game 2 (Field 2): No. 7 Campbellsville vs. No. 10 Mississippi (H)
Game 3 (Field 1): No. 5 Trinity Christian vs. No. 4 Grace (H)

Game 4 (Field 1): No. 6 Union vs. Azusa Pacific (H)
Game 5 (Field 3): No. 1 Shorter vs. Winner Game 1
Game 6 (Field 2): No. 2 Oklahoma Christian vs. Winner Game 2

Games 7 and 8 are no longer scheduled to be played Thursday, and will be the first games played on Friday—time TBA. With heavy rains expected through the afternoon and into Friday morning, Friday's game times will be announced as soon as they are known, based on field conditions.

To follow Lady Tiger softball's trip to the NCCAA Softball Tournament, visit CU's tournament central page at Lady Tiger softball can also be followed on Twitter @CvilleLTS or @CvilleTigers.

Richard RoBards can be followed on Twitter at @rbrobards.

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,600 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 1 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The university fields 26 teams in 16 sports. The website for complete information about the university is

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