Not many summer camps are offered free of charge, but that's just what Destiny Church is doing this summer for kids ages 3 to 12.
The Assembly of God church is opening its 12-acre campus at 2322 11th Ave. S.E. for the fifth-annual MEGA Sports Camp from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 16-20.
"In the past, we charged $20 per child," said the Rev. Jerry Lubrano. "But people are so strapped these days we decided the congregation would cover the cost."
The church has about 400 members.
The camp will include flag football, soccer, basketball and kickball, T-shirts and lots of prizes.
"We have a great group of volunteers to supervise and coach the children," Lubrano said. "Every one of them has been background-checked and has a level-one clearance. Safety and security are our No. 1 concern."
But providing the kids with a good time is a close second.
"The camp is a break from their summer routines, so we like to make things as fun as we can," said Sarah Sheppard, event coordinator and children's pastor. "We want them to play and make lots of new friends."
Destiny will host pre- and post-camp rallies, which will include talks on Biblical values, such as teamwork, kindness and getting along with others.
Registration is in now under way and is requested to give organizers an idea of how many children are coming. Walk-ins, however, will be welcome — as will all types of campers.
"We will do everything we can to accommodate special needs kids," Sheppard said.