City-kid camp overcomes barriers
___By Russ Dilday
___Buckner News Service
___DALLAS--Even though she's only 12, Shea knows about walls. She has come face-to-face with many in her life.
___Growing up in inner city Dallas, she deals daily with the walls of poverty, peer pressure, low self-esteem and being a latchkey kid in an urban setting.
___But the wall she is climbing today is different. Dangling 20 feet above the ground, Shea
struggles to find the next finger-hold on a sheer rock face. Pant-ing, she reaches out to test the hold, another step in her ascent to the top. Below, friends cheer as she continues her climb.
|AT MOUNT LEBANON BAPTIST ENCAMPMENT, a young camper nears the top of "The Wall," a simulated cliff used for confidence building and athletic training. This camper was part of a group sponsored by Buckner Children and Family Services of North Texas and Dallas Baptist Association. The special camp was designed for children who live in the inner-city. See story on page 2. (Photo by Russ Dilday)
___She is climbing on what many campers at the Dallas Inner City Camp call "The Wall," a simulation of a cliff face that is one the newest activities at Mount Lebanon Baptist Encampment near Dallas.
___This activity presents a challenge leaders of the camp believe will help inner-city kids overcome the walls they face daily at home.
___"This wall is about 60 percent mental," explained Larry Rook, a staff member, adding the inner-city campers have to work harder to get to the top.
___"They give up quickly because they're not used to encouragement," he explained.
___The camp, now in its fourth year, is a partnership between Buckner Children and Family Services of North Texas and Dallas Baptist Association. Campers were sent by several inner-city churches and from Buckner programs.
___Tim Allen, the camp's dean, said Dallas Inner City Camp is intended to provide "good, clean fun" for youth who do not often experience a camp setting.
___"It's intended to get them out of the city, bring them out to the country and let them experience the great outdoors that God has created," said Allen, coordinator of religious activities for Buckner.
___During the camp, 29 of 140 campers made professions of faith in Christ, and 22 made other life-changing decisions.
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