Coach Mike Lightfoot

Every summer, Head Men’s Basketball Coach Mike Lightfoot (’78) lays the competitiveness of the season aside to focus on sports camps. Bethel offers a number of basketball camps for players ages 8-18 each summer. But Lightfoot’s favorite camp is the one that includes father/son basketball.

In a recent interview with Lightfoot, he described why he continues to put so much time into the father/son camp. His obvious excitement and passion for the camp shows it goes far beyond the sport of basketball.

“The camp is not only for athletes,” said Lightfoot. “It’s for anyone who wants to develop as a person.”

The camp includes fundamental stations, 4-on-4 games with father/son teams and special seminars for dads. However, the camp is not all about teaching basketball skills, but it also teaches character-building skills. The camps are devised to bring out the greatest potential in both father and son — body, mind and spirit.

“There is a void in culture of personal character building,” said Lightfoot. “We want to see this in our camps.”

Mark Galloway (‘95) and his third-grade son, Trey, attended the camp last summer and plan to return again this year. He explains that he loves the opportunity to compete and learn alongside his son while staying in a dorm room for a weekend.

“Coach Lightfoot and his players do an excellent job of making it fun,” explained Galloway. “As a father you get first-hand experience from someone who has coached his boys and helped them grow into godly men!”

Lightfoot’s favorite thing about the camp is watching fathers and sons bond over something they both enjoy. He understands these moments more than anyone because he brought his own sons, Robbie (‘08) and Ryne (’10) to the camp each summer since they were 5 years old. Robbie and Ryne eventually became camp counselors and league directors, roles they continue today.

“As a dad, I have been able to see my own sons share their testimonies of faith with all of the other campers,” Lightfoot explained. “There are so many great memories and stories that we still talk about today.”

Clearly Lightfoot loves the family aspect of camp. So it isn’t surprising that he loves to see Bethel alumni return to the camps, bringing kids of their own. His eyes lit up when he expressed his feelings about Bethel alumni who show their sons what it was like when they were in school, the relationships they built, and even some telling stories of how they met their wives at Bethel College.

Lightfoot explained he would love to see more alumni realize how great it would be to see their children or even grandchildren come and have the Bethel experience, just like they once had.

“Maybe someday we will have a mother/daughter camp!” exclaimed Lightfoot.

If you’re interested in Sports Camps, click here for a complete listing of 2011 camps.