Summer camp teaches love beyond race

Posted at 4:00 PM, Jul 08, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-08 18:00:31-04

A summer camp in Omaha is teaching kids from across the metro love and lead others beyond the color of their skin.

This week, more than 160 kids from all parts of the city, ranging in ages 7-12, are learning together at a free summer camp. The camp is hosted by ABIDE and Bridge Church. The week-long camp focuses on teaching kids about their faith, leadership and community activism all while incorporating elements of fun into the mix.

Ashlyn Cox, 11, will be in 7th grade this fall and is attending the summer camp this year for a second time. The camp's mission is what keeps Cox coming back for more.

"It's mainly about being life-lifting, better together, game-changing leaders, said Cox. "And just having fun."

The camp comes with a few life lessons greater than what games and bible studies can teach: unexpected, silent, but relevant lessons on race. Children from all parts of Omaha and the metro including west Omaha, north Omaha, and south Omaha are put together in groups and work together to accomplish tasks and to learn, despite the color of their skin.

According to Cox, and her best friend, Maryah, both who are of different races, the color of your skin doesn't matter as much as your personality.

"People just think they're different, but really we're just not that different, we're all unique in our own ways," said Cox. "But you should lift people up instead of pushing them down."

For Director of Kids Kount Ministries and camp counselor for the week of camp, Peter Baye, this camp offers a rare opportunity for all types of children from all different places to come together.

"All of these kids, they're kids. They speak the same language of fun, creativity and wanting to just do something," said Baye. "Summer can be a drag if you don't have much going on and so for kids of Omaha to come together, to have some fun together, to speak the language of kids together, be creative, be loud and be goofy, no matter where you're from, that's a common language for kids."

While learning about the Bible and much more, camp attendees are learning that many is better than one. Baye said this is one of the main lessons of the week .

"We're one body; we are better together and when we can focus on that, it becomes pretty easy to block out the negativity," said Baye. "When we can focus on who we are, our identity in Christ and that we are better together, that's what kids are learning this week."

The large issues of race that are rising throughout the country have not yet changed the minds of some of the kids attending ABIDE's summer camp this week.

"It (race) really doesn't matter, people should just get along, they're no different," said Cox.

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