Summer Camps in Southern Illinois

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By Brandon Merano

WSIL -- School is out for most kids and that means summer program starting up in Southern Illinois.

Whether its getting ready for next season or just plain having fun with friends, summer camps are popping up all across the region. Herrin Tigers Junior High Basketball Coach Matt Zaranti is holding his annual girls basketball camp, teaching players skills to use both on and off the court.

"This is junior high, a lot of stuff happens for these girls in the three years they are at this school.  They change a lot, and we see them change a lot in three years, they grow up," said Zaranti.

Camp is just the start of a busy summer for participants. They will have summer league games as well. Zaranti says that the camp doesn't just benefit the players.

"If I'm coaching I'm happy so it just gives me more time to do what i want and what i love," Zaranti told News 3.

In Du Quoin, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes is kicking off its first of five summer camps they'll be hosting this year. Over 130 kids showed up Wednesday to play sports and learn life skills from camp volunteers and guest speakers.

Ian Willis has been helping with the camps for the last two years.

"It's really cool to see how these kids and the huddle leaders as well develop," Willis explained.

The FCA camps are free. There will be four more in various communities this summer. FCA representative Roger Lipe is glad to be a part of the event.

"I experienced camps when i was a high school kid and now to be able to provide them for kids all over the place.  There will be nearly 700 kids engaged in these camps.  Thats a huge benefit for me personally to know that we are making a difference for some of these kids," he said.

The remaining four FCA summer camps will be in Union, Perry, Jackson and Massac Counties.  For a full schedule and information on how to register head to www.sifca.org

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