Along with our summer theme, we have activities that campers complete to help engage with loving God and their neighbors. Campers have filled out ‘fruits of the spirit values posters’ which ask campers to think about problems in the world they would solve (so far my favorite has been the JFK assassination), kind people in their lives (a lot of campers have been listing their counselors and fellow bunkmates!) and things they are good at so they can brainstorm ways in which their talents can serve others. On Tuesday’s, we fill out chapel cards, where campers give a small portion of their store cards to our chapel fund. The chapel fund helps campers who might not be able to come camp otherwise as well as funds a young girl in the Philippines with medicine, general hygiene products as well as school supplies and tuition. So many people are grateful for the money the campers have donated, and we hope they feel proud knowing that even at such a young age they can help make a difference.
One of my favorite activities we’ve done this summer has been top secret service missions, where groups perform intentional acts of kindness for other groups around camp. Last session P8 created a nature center piece and name plates while they set P1’s table, and P7 cooked out and gifted P8 with homemade banana boats. Meanwhile this
week the SPF girls are planning to serenade their secret service target, the SPF boys with a homemade song. It’s been a blast watching groups plan and scheme ways to brighten someone else’s day. We’ve also been sending groups out on Random Acts of Kindness Scavenger hunts, where they run about camp giving people compliments, helping specialists clean their areas, and learn fun facts about some of our staff members! These scavenger hunts end by the whole group ringing the friendship bell, and golly is it exciting to hear the groups recount their scavenger hunt adventures and the new friends they’ve made. Last week H-5 was particularly excited as they ran throughout camp and complimented our dining hall supervisor Lexie’s hair. Aunt Doreen has also been in a
bunch this summer helping groups make cards to give to staff members, as well as making boxes filled with nice notes and sweets to be distributed to local police and firemen, as well as sent abroad to family members of campers who are in the military.
We are so excited that we are getting to spread the love of camp to those who do so much for us each day.
One homestead camper affectionately called me the chapel lady last session, however, a more accurate title may have been the labyrinth lady. since every group comes to the labyrinth to do a great activity called U Rock. We usually do this activity towards the end of the week, and have campers walk through the labyrinth blowing bubbles and saying things they are thankful for, popular ones have included their
families, friends, pets, camp, nature, and pizza. When campers get to the center we pass around a rock, and campers tell one another why they rock. Last week with P8 we did the compliment throne and everyone in the group complimented everyone else, and H6 last week ended with a smiley, giggly, group hug (and a few tears from their counselors).
It’s a great thing to watch so many groups reflect upon their week and the ways in which their cabin mates have helped them out and made them smile. When we close each session, we tend to do it in style with a Eucharist service. Each group has a part in making the service successful, from making bread, to singing songs and performing skits. This summer we’ve heard great renditions of Justin Bieber’s “Love
Yourself”, and Justin Timberlake’s “Can’t Stop the Feeling” rewritten to talk about camp and chapel. However, the greatest part of eucharist is definitely our closing song, “Lean on Me” when campers circle up and put their arms around one another, it’s a great reminder of the family each unit forms in their time at camp.
I hope that when your kids venture home they will keep the lessons of loving God, and their neighbors close to their heart, we’ve definitely seen it’s impact on our community here at camp.
Bethany (Our Christian Education Director/ Chapel Lady)