SPRING SUMMIT: PCHS alum teaches life skills to Brundidge kids

Published 8:53 pm Thursday, March 15, 2018

There are 27,398 lyrics that include the words “there’s no place like home.”

And, those are the words Chris Nickson, a Pike County High School gridiron star, “Alabama’s Mr. Football 2003” and the Vanderbilt Commodores quarterback from 2005-2007, chose to explain why he was once again back home in Brundidge.

“There is no place like home,” Nickson said, with a smile. “That’s why I’m back and why I’m doing what I’m doing. I want to give back to Brundidge, to my hometown and the kids here.”

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For some, “giving back” is a cliché but, for Nickson, it expresses the deep desire he has to do something meaningful for the kids in his hometown.

Nickson came home to Brundidge to conduct a camp for kids during Spring Break, March 12-16. But, not a football camp, as one might expect but a camp that teaches young people about life and the way to live it to their benefit and to the benefit of others

Nickson founded the Life Skills Sports Academy (LSSA) in 2008 in Nashville, where he makes his home.

“The academy offers an opportunity for kids to engage in activities including academics, sports, art and music but our focus is also on life skills,” Nickson said. “The Kid’s Spring Summit 2018 here in Brundidge is a weekend long camp with that focus.”

Elijah Daniels, Cameron Beard and Shari Chester have joined Nickson in offering the weeklong camp to local kids, ages seven through 17.

Although there is a large difference in ages, Nickson said the camp’s goals are to keep the kids learning during spring break and to get them excited about taking care of both themselves and their community. Those are goals attainable by a seven-year-old as readily as someone 16 or 17 years of age.

“We want the kids to learn about respect — about respect for themselves and for others,” Nickson said. “That’s the place to start. A lot of kids don’t have support systems and they have to deal with their individual struggles and, to do that, they have to be respectful of themselves and others.”

Nickson said the Kids Spring Summit 2018 is a first of its kind in Brundidge. Plans are to follow the camp with another weeklong camp during the summer.

“This is not going to be a one-time thing,” he said. “We’ve had 38 kids participating and we hope to have reached them all with our message but, if we help just one person, then we have been successful.”

Mayor Isabell Boyd said it is always good to see people come home to Brundidge.

“When they come with the desire to give back to the community, especially to the young people, we are so appreciative,” she said. “Our young people are our future. We thank Chris and all of those who assisted him with the camp. They are helping make a positive difference in our community.”