What better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons than a good old-fashioned fall Harvest Festival! October 13, 2018 marks the 67th annual Harvest Festival sponsored by the French Camp Community Club. The fundraiser benefits the local churches as well as FCA.
The main attraction is the Auction where you can bid on handmade items— arts, crafts, quilts, squirrel feeders, furniture, picture frames, and more. Shop the Country Store for jellies and jams, sweet treats, and other homemade and handmade goodies. The Historical District will be filled with traditional arts and crafts demonstrations. Enjoy watching the sorghum mill before buying some to take home. Children will delight in horseback and buggy rides and lots of good food will be available.
Pictured below are just a few auction items that have already been delivered. Keep watching out Facebook page, French Camp Academy One Fine Place, as new items arrive!
Bring your entire family and come join us for this fun day!
When new staff member Karen Leach learned part of her job duties would be supervising a daily work crew she was nervous. “I didn’t know what to expect but I knew I wanted to connect with the girls and help them connect with the Lord,” she says.
Karen came up with the idea to create each girl a gratitude journal. Each day when the students arrive at the Welcome Center, Karen greets them with a short devotional and time to write down the things they are grateful for that day. It’s become a great opportunity for the girls on Karen’s crew to refocus and move into their afternoon activities with an appreciative attitude and smiles on their faces.
Regions Bank in Jackson, MS provided 10 bicycles this spring for FCA students and staff to enjoy around campus. Pictured from left to right are: Stewart Edwards, FCA president; Monica Owen and Jim Purdie, representatives from Regions Bank; Mitzi Watkins, FCA Wellness Committee; Todd Marion, FCA VP and CFO; and Hugh Potts, Jr., FCA Board chairman.
Karen Winter was named Outstanding Alumnus of the Year recently during Alumni Day at FCA. Karen, FCA Class of 1974, graduated from the University of Mississippi with a BS and later obtained a Master’s degree in Counseling. She also received a degree in Bible and Religion from Harding University.
Though born in Mississippi, her life has taken her to the far reaches of the world. Karen attended the Missions Training Institute and then lived and worked in Southeast Asia, New Guinea, Russia, Romania, Hungary, Africa, and Europe. Her responsibilities included setting up base camps, counseling individuals, setting up medical clinics, working with orphans and teaching college level English.
Returning from overseas, she began working with individuals with mental and physical disabilities and has been doing this work for seventeen years. She currently works with Oxford Counseling Center and is dedicating her free time updating the FCA Alumni Museum.
Pictured with Karen is Alex Lawson, president of the FCA Alumni Association.
A new program was rolled out in early August of 2017 spear-headed by Reni Bumpas, an FCA house parent who is joyfully gifted as an administrator, writer, and communicator. Trained adults are paired with students who can invest time and energy to accomplish a definitive purpose.
Many young people coming out of broken family situations need an extra measure of grace and guidance to help build a future plan for their life. If mentoring by loving, wise adults doesn’t occur, then often teenagers move through early adulthood floundering with very little direction. Staff were trained in the summer of 2017 with new tools needed to walk students down a career path. The program was launched in August with our senior class.
The new program seems to be paying off according to an early survey at the end of the semester.
- One student said she’s applying for a scholarship that requires a resume, and she had no idea how to prepare one, and had been agonizing over it. At just the right time, Dr. Jeré Littlejohn came in and taught on that, and now she feels great about it.
- One student said it’s gotten her more focused, that she’d been avoiding planning, and that the Career Report was particularly helpful in that regard.
- One student said she would have been behind on the college visits if not for them being required, and she went on to say how the deadlines were good for her and helped her.
- Several students remarked about how they appreciated being able to talk about both personal stuff and getting encouragement and guidance for their future and for life.
- Many students reported that the life coaching had been “very helpful,” that it was “good having someone to track,” that coaches were “good role models,” and that “they would have been behind had it not been for the coaches and assignments.”
Life Coaching at FCA teaches students how to design a resume’ of experiences, learn more about their unique personality traits, develop a “life purpose statement,” shadow adults at work, and much more.
As you think about the young people at French Camp Academy, please pray for the Life Coaching program. Pray that God will use these vital relationships to provide the God-given guidance and resources needed for our young people to make the right choices moving forward in life.
Courtney Collins has come full circle; from once being a member of a student work crew to now leading her own work crew as Manager of Double Blessings Thrift Store. As a former student, Courtney enjoyed being part of a Christian community so when she married her husband Craig, who serves as the pianist at French Camp Baptist Church, it was only natural to inquire about positions available to her on campus.
Even though it has been challenging for her to step into an adult role at FCA, Courtney has made several innovative improvements at Double Blessings including a new computer system, operating an eBay store for donated items, and social media advertising. Recently she coordinated with Kosciusko Walmart to receive a donation of round clothing racks and three days of volunteer labor. While the makeover isn’t complete, store items are organized and visible making shopping pleasant.
Courtney isn’t the only one adjusting to a new role. Cindy Cox was Courtney’s dorm parent while she was a student and is now her supervisor at Double Blessings. “She’s grown in her decision-making ability and she’s growing daily in her walk with the Lord”, Cindy said fondly.
Working alongside a work crew allows our staff the opportunity to spend time connecting with students on a personal level. Recently Courtney was asked by a student to attend a mother daughter event as a mentor. She has a unique connection with the students to be able to talk with them about their current struggles and they know she’s been in their shoes.
Courtney glows when talking about the work crew. “The best part of my day is when the work crew comes in each afternoon. Getting to know the kids and learning them as individuals is very rewarding. The Lord has provided me an opportunity to become a role model for students.”