As groups of kids played happily at the Rock Creek Park Splash Pad on Wednesday, June 9, rain suddenly started falling out of the sky in buckets — but Ty Carnes was prepared for it.
Corralling the 60 campers of the Dawson County All-Sports Camp into the gym, Carnes and other camp leaders jumped into action, readying a dodgeball-filled afternoon while rain beat down on the roof and walls of the park’s indoor gymnasium.
For about eight years now Carnes has been taking weeks out of his summer vacation as a teacher in Forsyth County to run the All-Sports Camp in Dawsonville and said that he and his kids love holding the camp each summer.
“My own children are always wanting something to do through the summer,” Carnes said. “I was over some camps in Forsyth county a long time ago and said ‘I could do this on my own.’ It gets my kids out of the house, let’s them make new friends, keeps them active and off their technology.”
Kids ages 5 through 13 come to the camp to learn about different sports, like baseball, basketball and some more unique sports like tennis, golf and bowling.
“Being able to do this and offer a variety of activities for kids who may have never played any of their sports is what it’s all about,” Carnes said. “I love to watch these kids learn something new and be active outside.”
Over half of the kids in the camp, which runs from June 7 through 11, had been to an All-Sports camp in years’ prior. Though the majority of campers know each other, Carnes divides the campers in age groups to keep skill levels even and competitive.
“The kids that are new just have to look around at the other ones to know what to do,” Carnes said.
It’s not just playing the sports that Carnes is teaching his campers either. He teaches proper gripping techniques on a golf club or what to do with a baseball glove. Beyond that he even teaches campers how to properly score a bowling game, something that most grown ups might struggle with.
“I love all the different things we get to do,” 11-year old camper Cole Regan said between dodgeball games. “I’m having a great time.”Carnes will host another All-Sports Camp from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on June 21 through 25. The cost is $125. For more information, contact Carnes at firstname.lastname@example.org.