CU hosts 8,681 campers during summer with 224 decisions for Christ

CU hosts 8,681 campers during summer with 224 decisions for Christ

Aug. 17, 2015
For Immediate Release

Centri-Kid students participate in “Mass Chaos” on the campus of Campbellsville University
during one of their camps. Centri-Kid camps included 4,840 participants (539 more than last
year) from 180 churches, 13 more than in 2014. (Campbellsville University Photo by Joshua

By Joan C. McKinney, news and publications coordinator

CAMPBELLSVILLE, Ky. – Campbellsville University hosted 8,681 participants in summer camps from May through the first of August compared to 7,007 last summer for an increase of 24 percent.

Forty-four camp groups visited the campus with 187 churches participating in activities on campus.

Centri-Kid camps included 4,840 participants (539 more than last year) from 180 churches, 13 more than in 2014.

Rusty Watkins, director of summer camps and conferences, said this summer’s camps had 93 first-time decisions for Christ with a total of 224 decisions. Each of the students making first-time decisions received a Bible.

A total of 487 professions of faith were made from June 1, 2014 through May 31, 2015 among all Campbellsville University services and missions. This number does not include the decisions made during this summer.

“In my 14 years of leading the summer camp program, we have had 1,603 first time decisions for Christ,” he said. “That is an amazing picture of what Campbellsville University is all about.”

Watkins said the camps consisted of Centri-Kid Camps for third through sixth graders, Fellowship of Christian Athletes State Leadership Camp for junior high and senior high students, Kentucky Baptist Convention All-State Youth Choir and Orchestra for junior high and high school students, Kentucky Police Explorers Academy for high school and college age students, 55 sports camps including basketball, soccer, wrestling, football, tennis and cheerleading, leadership retreats and COVFAMIKOI Family Camp (a Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America camp).

Campbellsville University, for the first year, led her own Journeys Camp for junior high and senior high students. Campbellsville University’s School of Music led a two-night, three-day Chamber Music Camp, and we hosted the Ignite Conference that brought in spiritual leaders from all over the country for a three-night four-day conference.           

All of the groups that were on the campus this summer have already rescheduled to be here again next summer with the exception of the COVFAMIKOI Family Camp. Every four years they participate in the National Conference, which is slated for next summer in the Indianapolis area. They anticipate on returning to the Campbellsville University campus in summer 2017. 

Watkins said Campbellsville University will be hosting the Kentucky Boys State here next June.  Also, the university has tentatively scheduled four Journey Camps for next summer (two of those for third through sixth grades and two of them for sixth through 12th grades).

Watkins said campers came from 28 states in the United States and Canada, and they were impressed with Campbellsville University and the camp staff.

 “This campus is beautiful and it is ideal for Centri-Kid Children’s Camp,”members of First Baptist Church in Paris, Tenn. said. Centri-Kid has scheduled for 

Campbellsville University to host nine cycles of camp on the campus again next summer.

Watkins said, “People come to Campbellsville University because of our facilities, our Dining Hall and how special dietary needs are met, and how they are taken care of by my staff from the time they arrive on campus until they depart campus.”

Watkins is in charge of scheduling camps and arranging for housing for them, coordinating the facilities they will use, working with Heith Hall, director of food services in coordinating meals and meal times, overseeing the swimming pool and scheduling, training his staff to be servant leaders and working with the Office of Admissions to make sure every group that visits has someone from their office talk directly to each group.   

“I truly enjoy coordination the summer camp program here at Campbellsville University,” he said.      

“A couple of experiences that have changed me are:  the lives of young people who make first-time decisions for Christ while attending a summer camp here on our campus, and, second, training my summer camp staff to see their role as a ministry and not a job.”   

He had six returning staff members and four of those had been on his summer camp staff for the past three summers.           
They saw it as a vital ministry of Campbellsville University and not just a summer job,” he said.       

Andrew Greer, worship leader for Centri-Kid Cycles 1-4, said, “I have led worship at a lot of venues, including Ridgecrest, but Campbellsville University is one of the most relaxed, refreshing atmospheres I have been to in a long time.”           

Kevin Milburn, pastor of Union Baptist Church in Kentucky and former vice president of the Kentucky Baptist Convention, said about his campers had a “great time at Campbellsville University. This is a lovely place.”[endif]

Watkins said, “A fourth grader came to me and said, ‘I love Campbellsville University.  This is where I am coming to college when I get old enough.’”           

For more information about summer camps, contact Watkins at or (270) 789-5047.           

Campbellsville University is a widely acclaimed Kentucky-based Christian university with more than 3,500 students offering 63 undergraduate options, 17 master’s degrees, five postgraduate areas and eight pre-professional programs. The website for complete information is


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