INDIANAPOLIS — The Great Commission Church of God at 33rd Street and Arsenal Avenue needs a new roof as the Rev. Malachi Walker was explaining to a contractor walking around the north side church Tuesday morning.

But inside, down in the basement, great work is being done building up 33 campers during the church’s Young Men Inc. Spring Empowerment Camp.

”We have a plan to help the boys to make better decisions and choices in life because we are living in a time now that a lot of our young people are not making good decisions,” said Walker. ”They don’t stop and think about what they’re going to do and actions, and a lot of times it can end up someone getting hurt or killed.”

Seven times so far this year, gunfire has claimed the lives of juveniles in Indianapolis, most recently this past weekend in a home on Villa Avenue where a girl was killed and a boy wounded in a drive-by shooting during a house party.

”People who make stupid decisions are most likely stupid,” said Kendall Spivey, a seventh grader returning for his second year at the Young Men Inc. camp. “The people who make stupid decision most likely don’t think it through.”

Alex Self attended his first Y.M.I. camp in 2009 at the age of 9. He’s back this year with his four sons.

”Coming in here, it gave me a purpose, and it filled my time wisely,” said Self. ”It’s helped me become the man I am today as far as gaining respect for others and just knowing how to address and handle certain situations, and so just putting my kids in this, I really just love it because I can only see what happens from here.

“They’re not out here getting in trouble like some of their friends that they know. This is something they can actually take and grow with.”

Kendall recalled what he learned during his first Y.M.I. summer camp last year.

”We learned about hygiene, we learned about self care, how to take care of yourself, being a man, what to stay away from. You also learn, I forget the word, but like self skills. How to manage yourself growing up being a young man.”

Walker’s church has purchased a vacant lot across the street from the main building with plans to raise $2.5 million and build a community recreation center to serve not only the neighborhood but also to increase the size of the Y.M.I. camp.

”What our goal is in the future soon is to have a facility built that will be a multi-purpose building that we will worship out of, but not only that, but also to expand Young Man Inc., our youth department, and to open it up to where, we are only limited to serve only probably sometimes about a hundred people, boys, in this facility, but across the street when it’s built we want to serve between 150-175,” he said, “to reach out to more boys so we can teach them to make good decisions and choices so that they won’t be out there gang banging, out breaking in cars and robbing. We want to build that facility so we can take a lot more boys off the streets during the summer.”

Walker said he still has dozens of open seats for this summer’s Y.M.I. camp.

For more information, call 317-437-7937.