Preregistration Is Now Under Way for The Gathering of Champions Camp
Set for June 11-13, Grand Nation’s annual day camp is free and open to children and teens, ages 8-18.
With the end of the school year just days away, the search to find summer activities for children and teens has begun. If you’re looking for an activity that has a bit more to offer than just filling time, consider sending your child or teen to The Gathering of Champions day camp, June 11-13.
The Gathering of Champions is a free, three-day outdoor day camp led by retired college football coach Ken Heupel. It is presented by Ga Du Gi, a program of Grand Nation, Inc., a nonprofit grassroots coalition that has been serving the Grand Lake area since 2012.
Open to children and teens, ages 8-18, in the Grand Lake area, the annual, activity-filled day camp focuses on helping boys and girls believe in themselves and live a healthy and active lifestyle. Communication skills as well as four principles of leadership — discipline, respect, trust and hard work — are stressed throughout the camp.
“We are training bodies and minds to be great leaders,” said Ken Heupel. “We are also finding ways to teach students how to be a better citizen, and better in life by stressing hard work and the importance of determination and goal setting.”
The camp will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, June 11-13, at Southern Oaks Resort, 446724 East 390 Road, in Langley. Registration and check-in is from 9 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and camp activities will start at 9:30 a.m.
“It’s more than just sports,” said Grand Nation Executive Director Jennifer Hinson. “The activities and drills are used to develop self-confidence and learn important lessons that transfer in life beyond sports, including school, jobs, relationships, etc.”
In addition to Heupel, current and former college and NFL coaches and players will be serving as coaches and supervisors during the camp.
Individuals who have lived up to the camp’s four principals in their own right, the camp staff will include Earle Mosley, former running back coach for the Chicago Bears, Notre Dame under Coach Lou Holtz and the University of Kansas; Tony Mitchell, defensive line coach for Arizona Western College and former defensive line coach in the Germany Football League; Matt Brand, former running backs and strength coach at Northwestern Oklahoma State University;
Anthony Weeden, passing coordinator/receivers coach at Dixie College; Will Harris, tight ends coach at Arizona Western College and a former player in the Arena Football League; Jarrail Jackson, a receivers coach at the University of Central Oklahoma and a former offensive analyst for receivers at Mississippi State University who has coached five players who are in the NFL; Zach Miller, secondary coach at Eastern Arizona University; and Julian Washington, defensive back coach at Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
Also serving as coaches and supervisors at the camp will be Jamar Jackson, wide receivers coach at Dodge City Community College, Jonathan Pierce, a four-year quarterback starter at Southeastern University Florida; Logan Parli, administrative assistant; James Pryor, defensive line coach at Eastern Arizona College and retention coordinator, Counseling Intertribal Club advisor at Eastern Arizona University;
Alex Wierzbicki, defensive line coach at Tyler Junior College, former defensive line coach at Southwestern Oklahoma State University and former defensive line at Savannah State University; Jack Witte, former linebacker at Millsaps College, Sarah Lawerance, certified personal trainer and youth fitness specialist and former basketball player at the University of Central Oklahoma; and Lauren Collver, assistant softball coach at Southwestern Christian University.
Children and teens who are interested in specific sports will have plenty of opportunities to receive one-on-one training and mentorships from these coaches and players.
Although the camp is for children and teens 8-18, younger children ages 5-7 can attend the camp if accompanied by a family member or older sibling.
Monday, June 11, is family day at the camp. All ages are welcome to attend the camp on family day. However, every child or teen attending The Gathering of Champions on day one must be accompanied by an adult who is active in the child’s life.
Parents or adults bringing children to the camp can stay each day. On family day, however, the accompanying adult will participate in the camp activities alongside the champions attending the camp.
Participants should wear T-shirts, athletic shorts and tennis shoes. Lunch and drinks will be provided each day.
A $400 value, the day camp is free due to grants and donations made to Grand Nation. If you would like to make a donation, please contact Grand Nation at (918) 276-2192 or mail your donation to P.O. Box 572, Vinita, OK 74301.
Because space is limited, on-site registration will be accepted on the day of camp based on the number already registered.
For more information, call (918) 609-0236.