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‘Step camp’ gives youth chance for success

‘Step camp’ gives youth chance for success
'Step camp' gives youth chance for success | Stepping Camp, Crossroads Teen Center, Martin Housing Authority

Members of the O.A. Steppers team (from left) Sanaa Davis, Heavenly Mack, and Tommy Reynolds
What time is it? It’s stepping time! That’s what time it was July 28 for the youth at the Crossroads Teen Center who participated in the 2012 Step Crew Banquet.
The banquet was held to honor the local youth who participated in the Step Camp 2012 this summer. Family, friends, and community members came out to show their support for the steppers while they were recognized.
The campers split into two teams – O. A. Steppers and 2wo Cold – for a friendly competition. After a demonstration from each team, the judges ultimately announced 2wo Cold as the best step team, which left a tie for the best overall team.
The tie was broken with a step-off between Gabrielle Reed and Brianna Easley with the O. A. Steppers, and Amiracle Gardner and Trey Tipton with the 2wo Cold team.
O. A. Steppers won the Best Overall Team Award, which is based on stepping, leadership, and recycling, and Brianna Easley was given the Calvin Jones II Best Overall Stepper Award.
The Team Green Award went to O.A. Steppers for collecting the most recycling. Marshall McCollum helped teach the steppers about eating healthy and proper exercise habits.
“Camp went very well because it gave a lot of kids motivation and confidence,” said McCollum.
“It got tough on a few occasions when some wanted to quit, but they knew that they can do anything if they set their mind to it. They all have great potential to do anything in life – like something big.”
Amircale Gardner, Zanasha Gadlen, Cali Arnold, and Gabrielle Reed sang “Who Says” for the first performance.
Heavenly Mack also performed in between the awards presentations.
The steppers, family, and other guests watched various videos from camp moments and also of some previous competitions.
 During camp, the participants learned about the five characteristics of exemplary leadership: Challenge the process, encourage the heart, model the way, inspire visions, and enable others to act. Step Team President Trey Tipton spoke on the team’s theme: “Serve first, Step next.”
“It’s about giving back to the community you were raised in,” said Tipton. “Stepping is what we’re known for, but we want to be known for more.”
Tipton explained that the steppers learned about volunteering, healthy eating, exercising, recycling and then stepping. The following youth also received awards at the banquet:
• Better Late Than Never: Heavenly Mack
• La Volpe Fitness Award: Raschad Windham and Leasia Gardner
• Constant Stepper: Jah’Sirria Crutchfield
• Head in the Clouds: Tatiyanna Chandler
• Snap Back Swag: Tommy Reynolds
• Little Generals: Amiracle Gardner and Gabrielle Reed
• Five-Star Generals: Trey Tipton and Brianna Easley
• Pretty Girl Rock: Aniya Stokes
• Best Personality: Amiracle Gardner
• Dynamic Duo: Leasia Gardner and Taniyah Bailey
• Skinny with Plenty of Attitude: Zanazha Gadlen
• Feed Me Not (Pickiest Eater): Shavonta Barnett
• Come Back Kid: Mariah Turner
• Break Out Sensation: Cali Arnold and Kaleb Craig
• Most dedicated: Sanaa Davis
• Rookie of the Year: Gabrielle Reed
• Most Improved: Raschad Windham
• Bubbliest Personality: Maya Scott
• Hardly Knew Your Stache: Kentravious Robinson.
Organizers of the event hope the stepping camp will become an annual event which will continue to grow.

WCP 7.31.12

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