This year’s camp was unlike any other. Besides having to be extra careful to follow health and social distancing procedures, it was the first camp we organized without a short mission team present and involved. But none of the rules or changes could really put a damper on the excitement and joy of the 35 children that were able to come to camp.
Upon the children’s arrival, on Sunday, they had lunch and shortly after we introduced them to the week’s theme: The Greatest Treasure Hunt. The children were meant to be involved in activities that would help them ‘train’ as treasure hunters. They were split up into teams and they started a week long competition against each other. They were given lots of challenges including treasure hunts, relays, races which were meant to help them develop team spirit and to teach them to work together. They were also given points for being on time, for keeping their rooms clean, for cheering for their team-mates during the various games and activities.
Every day we gathered twice in the chapel: in the morning and after dinner. We sang and worshiped together and we learned about 5 different treasures: the Bible as the map for living the way God wants us to live; Eternal life given us through faith in Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross; God’s power which is available to us through faith (Gideon’s story); God’s faithfulness (Noah’s story); Obedience towards God and our parents (Jonah’s story). In the evening chapel the children would be told a story (true or fictional) that would teach them more about the treasure they learned about in the morning, and would help apply biblical concepts to their lives.
Of course we included the traditional camp activities as well: morning exercise, crafts (rock painting, stone necklaces, picture frames, key chains, etc.), soccer and volleyball tournaments, water games, paintball, talent show, watermelon feast, hike, wood hauling, camp fire and of course, s’mores.
The days were full and they passed quickly, and today, as we were waiting to load the bus, several of the children expressed their wish to stay longer, at least 3 more days.
We are thankful that our children were able to take a break from their hectic and stressful home life and enjoy the comforts of camp (meals, snacks, showers, clean and comfortable beds) for a week. We all left with our hearts full and beautiful memories.