This summer, like last was not typical for many of our churches when it comes to VBS and summer day camps. Some of our churches ran online camps again this summer, some ran in person camps and some ran a hybrid of online and in person. Read some of the reflections from a couple of our churches.
Xenia Tang, MCBC Children’s Coordinator shares,
“The beginning of camp is always a mix of emotions and events. The first week of camp is a lot of adjusting and getting-to-know-yous. Games and crafts can also be a bit chaotic as we adjust to camp rules and new friends. But as always with children, this chaos is often adorable! As the Summer+ team, we get to see the wholehearted enthusiasm ooze from our campers first hand! Thus, we give you “chaosadorable”; a kidmin term that can only describe the chaos and joy that is children ministry, and a situation we no doubt look forward to experiencing and growing through with all our campers this summer!”
I love that word, “chaosadorable”! I wonder who else can relate to this?
Amanda McCulloch, Associate Pastor Highland Baptist Church shares,
Last week on her final day of camp a 9 year old girl said to me, “I have had so much fun this week.”
In these COVID days I don’t think we should take statements like that lightly or see them as superficial. For many, many kids this summer was the first time they have been with a group of kids in months. It was the first time they could spend time with others outside their household and do things that kids do—read stories, play games, and create crafts.
I had another parent tell me that our camps have been so good for her children’s mental health. Their family faced a lot of challenges with remote learning, and it took a toll of her children’s mental health. This summer she has noticed a positive difference in her kids, and our day camps have played a role in that.
Such a blessing for kids and families to have had the opportunity to participate in person at some of our churches. Way to go Highland team!
Joanne Lee, MCBC Children’s Pastor shares,
We’ve discovered that Arts and Crafts is a very philosophical time. Our second day of camp this year, one of our Grade 1-3 children, in relation to something they heard in that day’s Bible lesson, asked us, “Why did Jesus have to die?” And we got to share with that child, and all the children there on Zoom with us, that Jesus didn’t HAVE to die for us. He chose to, out of obedience to God the Father, and out of love for us. It’s moments like this where you see that the children are capable of seriously thinking about faith and it’s a blessing to be a part of those conversations.
One Monday, we were teaching the Grades 1-3 (5-8 year olds) at camp about the 10 plagues in Egypt, and how God rescued the Israelites from slavery. When we told them that Pharaoh had tried to kill all the Israelite baby boys, one of our kids said, “I think I wanna be Moses”, meaning he wanted to be the one who survived. When we told them that before the Israelites left Egypt, God moved in the Egyptians’ hearts and got them to give the Israelites their gold, their silver, and other kinds of treasures, one of our kids said, “God is funny at the end in a good way.” On Friday, as review, I told them this story again but all wrong, including a bit about how the Israelites were slaves in Richmond Hill, and these kids corrected EVERY. SINGLE. MISTAKE. We don’t have to wait to share God’s faithfulness, provision, and love with children. These kids GET IT. And they can articulate in a way that adults sometimes can’t. And they’ve also got stories and thoughts of their own that can also teach us a thing or two.
We’ve been really trying to hammer home that repentance is turning away from your sins and turning back to God. During one of our lessons, one of our older children was sort of muttering the definition to himself. “They realized they were wrong, they realized they were wrong”. He didn’t realize he was unmuted and we could hear him.
I would love to hear your stories from the summer! Send me an email and share with me how God was at work through your summer camp ministry this year!