Don't Foul Out

Jatavia Shavers (left) performs with professional musician John Fitzgerald McGill on the last day of Don’t Foul Out Academy.

“Don’t Foul Out” Academy is done for the year but those that worked to put on the summer camp, which has been offered for more than 20 years, hope that the children who attended the two and a half weeks of fun and instruction both remember and put to use the teachings that they received. 

“We share with young people to help them to make the right decisions in life, in school, sports and society,” Bishop Franklin Lowery said. “It gives them the opportunity to engage in summer activities that many of them may not have an opportunity to do.”

Lowery explained that they have an acronym in the camp, “LAW,” which stands for you’ve got to love what you do, have the right attitude and the right work ethic.

“The other side of ‘LAW’ is that you’ve got to take what you’ve learned and apply it willingly,” he said. “So if I teach you something, then you know how to do it and ought to apply it willingly.”

This camp is offered under the umbrella of Lincoln County Communities in Schools, helping to keep area youth engaged during the summer. Throughout the camp, the children were taken bowling at Pin Station in Newton, to the movies and swimming. They also received a tour of Catawba Valley Community College, including the simulated hospital. Numerous individuals and organizations throughout the county and beyond have visited the camp to offer educational opportunities. 

The camp is very structured, Lowery said. There’s time for fun but there’s also a lot of teaching involved. Breakfast and lunch are served each day. 

“We had a retired Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department detective and his wife, who is a retired probation officer, come one day,” camp organizer CeLeste Lowery Frazier said. “They live in Lincoln County but because of a lot of the black on black crime, kids killing kids, I brought them in to speak to the kids. The CMPD officer got involved as a police officer because of an incident he had as a child. When the State Employees Credit Union comes, they have the kids make a budget, which they learn a lot from. They learn about what their salary would be if they finished high school or not, or if they go to college or not and have to make a budget based on that income. I think this is all very help for these kids as they get older. I see a huge difference in those who have been coming to camp for the past five or more years. Some of the ones that are in high school and have jobs came in on their days off to volunteer.”

On the last day of camp, professional musician John Fitzgerald McGill, Johnson C. Smith University football coordinator Johnson “Jeep” Hunter and some members of the team visited the camp and gave inspirational speeches. 

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