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Performance was highlight of church camp

Esther L. Atkins
GGEO Community Foundation
Parents, guardians, relatives and friends filled the pews at Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church (MZMBC) of Salisbury Summer Enrichment Program’s first Summer Camp Showcase on Monday.
Everyone one was excited to see their children perform. Photo, video, and cell phone cameras all were aimed at the kids as they performed.
The Summer Camp Showcase was planned, directed, and executed by the campers under the direction of Joshua Howell, a rising senior at Salisbury High School. Joshua was so proud of everyone that participated, “the hard work really paid off.”
Zachary Moten (rising fourth-grader) and Tenijah Smith (rising fifth-grader) were the emcees for the night.
Reflecting on her experience as an emcee, Tenijah said, “I felt like I was on top of the world.”
The program opened with welcoming remarks from the Rev. Dr. Nilous M. Avery, II, Mount Zion pastor/teacher and ex-officio, GGEO Community Foundation, and Karen Brown, associate minister at Dorsett Chapel Church and administrative assistant to the GGEO Foundation.
From June 13th when we opened the doors for MZMBC’s first summer program, we have watched the children grow and develop. It is a blessing to see it all unfold. I look forward to next year being even better” Brown said.
To sharpen their speaking skills, different campers spoke throughout the evening of their various field trips and what they gained from each.
Trips included visits to Waterworks Visual Arts Center, the Train Museum, Dunns Mountain Preserves, Salisbury Police Station, Rowan Public Library, Kelsey Scott Park, Dan Nichols Park, City Park, Woodleaf Lanes, and Cinemark TinselTown USA.
Joshua Howell and several campers decided to form a mime ministry, calling themselves “The Joyful Praise Mime.”
They mimed to the Marvin Sapp’s “Praise Him in Advance” and “The Best of Me.” Their heartfelt performance was inspirational to all that was there. No one will forget the adorable little Sea Surfers. They danced to the Surfaris “Wipeout.” Dressed in their bathing suits, the children took everyone to the beach.
A special tribute was made to the Executive Director, Esther Atkins by Joshua Howell, the Joyful Praise Mime Ministry, and other campers. She spoke of Proverbs 22:6 — “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. We at MZMBC believe that it takes an entire community to help with the training of our kids and we are devoted to doing our part. It blesses me to see them achieve.”
She gave thanks to Judy McDaniel and Arneda Harper, SEP Coordinators, and the rest of the staff.
for their hard work all summer.
The campers have been taught that childhood obesity is a serious issue in America. The numbers have tripled in the last 30 years. First Lady Michelle Obama launched Let’s Move which is an initiative to get kids to exercise and eat healthy. Thus, the grand finale to a wonderful evening was an exercise routine performed by the campers and staff to Beyonce´ “Move Your Body”.
Rev. Dr. Avery but things in perspective when he said “The Summer Enrichment Program at Mount Zion was an exciting extension and continuation of our ongoing vision: enhancing, expanding, and elevating the goals, achievements, and quality life of our community. The 100 plus students experienced and were exposed to academic enhancement, cultural expansion, and potential driven elevation of self-esteem and interaction with others. We thank the committed staff, directors, Executive Director, parents/guardians, and most of all, our “treasures,” the children and youth. We’re excited and delighted as we make preparations for the upcoming school year and our Mentoring and After School (MAP) program.” (Rev. Dr. Nilous M. Avery, II, Mount Zion Pastor/Teacher & Ex-Officio, GGEO Community Foundation, Inc.)
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