Elementary school teacher Kelly Blake stumbled upon C.H.A.M.P. Camp last summer and on a whim registered her 10-year old son, Benjamin, with an ironic hope that he would not have a good time.
“I didn’t particularly want him in football, and thought if he went to this camp he would find out that it’s a lot of hard work and it help him realize it wasn’t really his thing. But it didn’t turn out that way…the first day I picked him up from the camp and he said it was so fantastic,” said Blake.
“It was one of the highlights of his summer, that’s for sure,” she added. “He definitely wants to go to camp again this year.”
Blake was drawn into a camp where her son got to spend two days being physically active and learning life skills, and it didn’t cost her a cent.
“I had packed him a little cooler full of food and drinks and stuff and he didn’t have to use any of it because everything was provided—every drink he needed, all the food, everything,” Blake said. “I thought it was phenomenal.”
Since she hadn’t paid for the camp, Blake was surprised to find current and former collegiate and NFL players, coaches, and respected community leaders leading the no-cost camp.
“We really felt like he was getting the real deal,” she said. ”I think it really made an impact on Benjamin and I think he was really impressed with the camp.”
Benjamin was interviewed by a local TV station after the camp and asked about his experience and what he learned.
“On his little TV interview he said, ‘I used to worry about winning, but now I realize that’s not the important thing—the important thing is doing your best and being part of a team,’” his proud mother recalled.
Though Blake hoped her son would decide to spend his time playing other sports, she is incredibly grateful for the experience her son had at C.H.A.M.P. Camp.
“What they taught him are values and principles that you can take to other parts of your life—it doesn’t have to be professional sports. I think that was a really good thing for the kids to see too, that you can be successful people who have positive experiences in sports and use that in other parts of your life,” she said.
Kelly Blake
I would just like to take a moment to let you know how much your camp not only meant to my son but me also!!! It was AMAZING!!! I am so glad that he was able to attend…the Coaching staff and speakers were EXCELLENT!!! I was most Proud of the fact that almost each and everyone of the speakers talked about school, your friends (who you surround yourself with) and God!! My son has attented other football camps before but nothing like this…as a mother to 3 small boys to hear you say “let’s pray” before we get started and before you ate…was amazing!!! To hear no CUSSING allowed…wow!! I have not stopped talking to others about your camp nor will I!!! I will be Honored to help in any way possible for the next one!!! This camp TRULY stood by it’s name and what C.H.A.M.P. Camp is all about!!! Thank You for being and having a coaching staff that were such a postive influence on these young boys growing into manhood…What A Blessing!!! God Bless You!!
Mother of Kentucky Camp Camper
Our recent May graduation class was the largest in the history of the college. Their enthusiasm and commitment was a credit to the families and churches that make it possible for them to receive the finest Christian education available in our country. Our Graduates left to fmd their place in the churches, schools, counseling communities, and businesses of our country. We believe they will make a difference in our nation’s future as the daily national news indicates they are desperately needed. We look forward now to the incoming class in August and pray that they will be of the same caliber. God has given the school such a wonderful opportunity to influence the community leaders of tomorrow. God bless you for being our partner in this great endeavor.
The Baptist College of Florida
On behalf of President Eli Capilouto and the Board of Trustees, I want to thank you for your recent gift of $500.00 to the Physical Therapy Development Alumni Fund. Private support is increasingly important to maintain program excellence and helps provide the University with the opportunity to draw closer to our goal of being a Top Twenty university. We appreciate your generosity and your interest in UK.
D. Michael R., University of Kentucky, Vice President for Development
As Event Coordinator and proud sponsor of the Athletics & Beyond Girls’ Empowerment Workshop, I’d like to personally thank Champ for attending our workshop. As a representative of Heart Power, your presence at the event was uplifting to all the volunteers and young attendees. It was so personable of you to join in the Zumba class and show the young ladies that men can have fun and participate equally. The support and publicity in spreading the word of the 6th Annual Workshop was much appreciated! Having your attendance there showed your true support of the program and it gave credibility to our mission to help empower young ladies.
Thanks again Champ and Stephanie. See you next year with your Zumba shoes on!
Bonnie Smith & Narcy Jackson
Dear Stephanie and Champ:
I am so grateful for the donation you made to the Samaritan’s Touch UK Student PT Clinic. It is especially meaningful to me since you were a part of our earlier effort at the Salvation Army, Stephanie.
I was so excited to see the wonderful show of support for your Lexington C.H.A.M.P. camp! That speaks volumes about your reputation and positive influence. You are doing such good work – the kind that plants seeds that will flourish at some future moment. The donation will be used to support the purchase of supplies that we periodically need for the clinic. If you schedule for next year, please let us know, so that we can promote the camp through our College web site and our PT program Facebook page.
I wish you well personally and professionally.
Lynn E., PT, MSEd, DPT
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Anthony Kelly,
I am writing to express my sincere thanks for your gift to The Salvation Army. Your compassion for others is deeply appreciated, not only by the staff and volunteers at The Army, but also by the many hutting people who come to us in dire need and in search of hope, Because of your compass ionate support, we are able to embrace those who are suffering the heartbreaking experience of homelessness offer solution-driven programs. Your donation enables The Salvation Anny to keep its shelter doors open for homeless women and families. Thanks to you we are able to offer hope and life-changing programs to lift people to a place of self-sufficiency.
Salvation Army
To Champ and Stephanie, I had lots of fun even though it was so hot!! Thank you so much, Love
Kaylee M. S.
We are all involved in this great game for a lot of reasons. Most of us have the same list. Being able to help young people and give them a positive environment with high expectations even if just for a couple of days is a great thing. With Champ Camps everyone wins. Kids (many of whom cant afford 400.00 summer camps) get days of intense fundamental football work and Heart Power gives again when the proceeds are given to charities. My kids had a great time and will definitely be back next year!
Mark Carroll, Head Coach at Harrison County High School in KY
We are all involved in this great game for a lot of reasons. Most of us have the same list. Being able to help young people and give them a positive environment with high expectations even if just for a couple of days is a great thing. With Champ Camps everyone wins. Kids (many of whom cant afford 400.00 summer camps) get days of intense fundamental football work and Heart Power gives again when the proceeds are given to charities. My kids had a great time and will definitely be back next year!
Head Coach, Harrison County High School, KY
Dear Stephanie and “Champ”:
On behalf of the athletes and coaches of Special Olympics, Florida, Jackson County, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your generous donation to our program. Our athletes thoroughly enjoyed working with your staff at the football camp. It is a great experience for our athletes to see the kind of training that is delivered to other athletes in the community. They enjoyed being a part of that. I am very excited about the ministering you are doing for the youth in the community. The positive thoughts that were delivered those 2 days will make a great impact on their lives. We will spread the word about The C.H.A.M.P camp and Heart Power, Inc. and we look forward to working with you again next year.
Again, thank you for all that you do for Special Olympics.
Karen H., Jackson County Coordinator, Special Olympics, Florida