Sports summer camps give kids the opportunity to learn or develop their athletic skills, but one coming up this weekend in Bessemer also will focus on character.
The Nick Bell Foundation Camp is Saturday at Bessemer City High School. The camp is named after a former football player at the school, which was then known as Jess Lanier High School. Bell went on to play at Mississippi State but died of cancer at just 20 years old. His mother started the camp as a way to honor his memory. But it’s evolved in the eight years since then.
“I thought it might be a grieving process for her at the beginning,” George A. Smith, Bell’s uncle, said. “But now she understands the necessity for it. And I mean she’s all in. She lives and breathes this camp.”
Camp instructors teach fundamentals in football, basketball and cheerleading in the camp. But they also stress the importance of character, and they hope it will have a positive impact on the kids lives. Organizers have held the event at other schools in the Birmingham area in the past. They say hundreds of kids have attended. It’s open to kids ages 5-18.
The camp is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Bessemer City High School. Registration begins that morning at 7:30.