Almost 200 children from northeast Alabama and Georgia gathered at the Piedmont Springs Camp Ground on Possum Trot Road last week for the annual youth camp. Many of the children were from Jacksonville and Piedmont, and they ranged in age from the very young to late teens.

Mark Willingham of Heflin, superintendent of the North Alabama District of the Congregational Holiness Church, said in addition to Bible studies and choir time, the children enjoyed crafts and were served three meals a day by the cafeteria staff.

The theme was Wilderness Escape. There were six classes to accommodate all ages.

Willingham said he’s happy with the number of children who attended and appreciates those who volunteered.

“It let me know that the Lord is with us throughout all the stages of our lives if we’ll just continue to serve him,” said Willingham. “He’ll bring us through the many different situations of life.”

Willingham said the children were excited and showed a lot of enthusiasm throughout the week. There were services at 7 nightly, with a designated speaker each night.

Gary Watts, secretary of the North Alabama Conference and a member of the Jacksonville Congregational Holiness Church, said his three children, ages 11, 7 and 5, attended. Watts taught the adult class, while his wife, Stefanie, taught children ages 4-5.

Another child who attended was Ruthie Dyer, daughter of Ray and Pam Dyer of Piedmont. Ruthie, the granddaughter of Bodie and Mary Smart and the late Bobbie and Frances Dyer, has been attending youth camp since she was 3. She is a member of Plainview Congregational Holiness and said she loves attending the camp.

“This year camp was awesome,” said Ruthie. “We learned about the journey of Moses through the wilderness. We visited his tent where he told us of the Israelites and his struggles. We were allowed to visit the 12 tribes of the Israelites camp where we made crafts.”

Ruthie, 10, attends Pleasant Valley Elementary School. She said she enjoyed the water day with water slides, a bouncy house and fire trucks, which the children were allowed to play on. She also liked choir class where they learned songs.

“I wish all my friends could attend and learn more about God,” said Ruthie “My one quote is that we must all trust in God.”

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