Health-based Bible camp aims to nourish bodies and souls

By: By Natalie Davis -

Pathway to Peace Ministries will be having its annual free Youth Force Bible and Health Summer Camp for two weeks July 9 through 20, at the Community Center.

The Camp is for children ages 5 through 13 and runs from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. daily. The camp started in 2007 in Wadesboro, but there also were camps in Morven for about four years. It was once seven to eight weeks, but has decreased to two weeks.

For the past 11 years, Pathway to Peace Ministries has been on a major crusade in Anson County and the surrounding areas to teach others in churches, groups, and youth camps.

The Youth Force Bible and Health Camp will serve plant-based nutritious breakfasts and lunches, according to Pastor Cary Rodgers.

“It is our goal to teach your children about ultimate success physically, spiritually and mentally through healthy lifestyle education, math, reading, exercise, and Bible class,” Rogers said. “There is no way you can do that with fast-food dinners, burgers, hot dogs, soda, and sugary killer junk food. Ultimate success begins with making the right healthy choices.”

In morning, the camp starts with a healthy breakfast, followed by a general session with singing and scripture.

“Afterward the campers rotate into classes according to their age group which include math, reading, health and science, Bible class, outside play and exercise,” he said. Each class is about 25 minutes each.

The day closes out with songs and a general health demonstration or a PowerPoint Bible lesson.

Rogers said they will also produce videos at the end of each camp to promote a health lifestyle, including eating “more fruit and veggies.”

According to Rodgers, the lifestyle choices of today will determine a child’s success now and in the future. Teaching a child how to make the right healthy choice now can avoid deadly diseases such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, and cancer.

“Training the youth and their parents how to make the right health choices is extremely important for the vitality of our children and community,” Rodgers said. “Those who have implemented these healthy lifestyle changes have seen some tremendous results. High blood pressure is now under control; diabetes reversed; energy regained; and weight is lost.”

Rodgers said that many children and volunteers who have participated in the camp have reported that they now make more healthy choices. He went on to say that some overweight children have lost weight, and as adults still follow a healthier lifestyle.

“Our goal is to expose the children and community to a healthy planted based lifestyle; it is a rear opportunity for many, but gives powerful results,” he said. “Children’s behavior, attention span and retention improves greatly.”

Based on Anson Couty Health Department reports, one of the reasons why the county suffers high diabetes rates is because of the lack of knowledge on how to prevent it.

“One of our goals is to break the cycle of ignorance, and that we don’t have to suffer from lifestyle diseases if we make the right choices.” he continued.

PTPM also hosts a free monthly planted-based cooking class every third Sunday at Pathway to Peace from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m.

The center is located on the corner of Sikes Avenue and Stahl Street, across the street from First Baptist Church in Wadesboro.

By Natalie Davis