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All-Sports Camp returns to Rock Creek Park
Second session begins June 17
all sports
Modified rules allow for an indoor game of baseball on June 7 during All-Sports Camp at Rock Creek Park. - photo by Bob Christian

The sixth annual Ty Carnes All-Sports Camp hosted by Dawson County Park and Recreation at Rock Creek ark saw its largest turn-out to date with over 70 kids, ranging in ages from 5-13, taking part in the week-long camp between June 3 – 7.

Rock Creek Park provides Carnes and his kids access to both gymnasiums, the common room and all fields on the property. The Kona Ice truck comes by one day during the camp, and the kids get to enjoy the Rotary Island splash pad during the camp.

P.E. teacher and head football coach at North Forsyth Middle School, with a background in health and physical education, Carnes designed the camp to provide a safe, active environment that introduced the basic rules of a wide variety of sports.

“It really is an introduction to all sports,” Carnes said. “Some of these kids may not have found a certain sport that they like to play. They may play one for the first time here at camp and take it with them for the rest of their lives.”

Carnes has watched the camp double in size from the original 35 kids in 2012 and attributes the success to his returning campers each year.

“Over half of my campers have been here more than once,” Carnes said. “But each year, they bring a friend, or a brother or sister and we just keep getting bigger.”

Broken down by age into three groups, the campers were given the opportunity to try their hands (and feet) at a slate of traditional sports such as football, soccer, baseball and basketball along with a small taste of sports not commonly offered such as kickball, ultimate Frisbee and putt-putt golf.

The exposure to different types of games and the active nature of the camp are the primary reasons that returning camper Brennan Burns, 12, has been attending the All-Sports camp since the beginning.

“I like that its all about sports,” Burns said. “I play all kinds of sports, baseball, basketball and football.”

Fellow camper, C.J. Freeland, in his third or fourth year with the camp (he couldn’t remember) was quick to agree with Burns about how much fun the All-Sports camp was each year.

“The energy, I love how they do everything,” Freeland said. “And I like playing all kinds of sports too.”

Along with the rules of the various games, each group is also introduced to the basics of good sportsmanship and personal integrity.

“There is a right way to win or lose,” Carnes said. “Its important for the kids to see that difference and too learn it.”

The focus on integrity was readily apparent in the week’s final game of dodgeball refereed by assistant coach Miki Walraven, in her third year with the program. After the completion of the first round of the game between the youngest kids, Walraven sat them down and used the example of not leaving the court when out to demonstrate the important life-lesson.

“Some of you were hit by the ball, meaning you were out, but didn’t leave the floor,” Walraven said. “That, right there, is integrity. If you know you are out, then go sit down. Integrity.”

“(Carnes) has done a really good job of building the program,” Walraven went on to say. “And a lot of these babies are only 5 or 6 years old. For some it is their first time at camp, and the first time that they have been introduced to these concepts.”

The second All-Sports Day Camp is set to begin June 17 and spots are still open for those who want to participate. The camp lasts from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. all week and costs $110 per person. Early arrival at 8 a.m. and late pick up at 4 p.m. is available for an additional $25. Campers are asked to bring a snack, a sack lunch, and a water bottle each day.

Those interested can pre-register online at dawsoncounty.org or pick up hard copies of the required forms at Rock Creek Park and Veterans Memorial Park. For more information, email Ty Carnes at tcarnes@forsyth.k12.ga.us.