It is all about the Church’s vision.

One of the reasons churches bring me in to write Church Camp materials is that their goals for their children can be very much in line with their vision for the community of believers.

This year, the vision included the Old Testament.

As a Montessorian I immediately thought of Fundamental needs of Man and the power of Geography in the rise of civilizations.  We settled on a passage out of Deuteronomy 6.  

The discussion would follow the Shema: Hear O Israel the Lord is one God.  It would discuss the conquest of the land under Joshua with a day dedicated to:

  1. Who are the people of God?  What is a mezuzah and the shema?
  2. The family tree of Abraham.  The geography of the near east.
  3. The tribes living in “promised land” and the civilizations of the near east during the later bronze age. (A look at the Gibeonites.)
  4. How the people of God interacted with the other tribes (ie Ruth and Samson) and the surrounding cities and resources for trading and the trade routes;
  5. Justice and law during the bronze age and including the cities of refuge. A perusing of the Wheel of Apostasy.
This camp is about providing no more than 35 children a three and a half hour camp. The camp times would be from 3:30 to 7:00 pm. The children would be divided into groups that would rotate through places, and finally the whole camp would meet for the fifth.  If you are familiar with Montessori, you can appreciate the areas of work of the child that are incorporated into this schedule.  The children who come to this camp are not Montessori in background and need the be encouraged to find their inner love of learning and self-direction.  

The first four cover the time from 3:45 until 5:45.  Each group rotates in turn through the areas. The fifth involves dinner, music, and the speaker.

Working with Hands  (In the Parish Hall)

Activities are not crafts. Activities aid in understanding the concept.  The goal is to introduce the concepts of the Biblical passage in a kinesthetic and visual-spacial manner. Discussion of theology is as important as teaching and modeling the skills. 

  • project covering the day’s topic

Working with Mind (In the Tree House)

When working with the mind, a Socratic approach (posed questions for the children) is utilized to aid the children in their ability to look at Scripture and discern themes, history, and meaning for themselves.

  • This piece of the rotation cover the topic from a look into the Bible and its themes.

Care of Self (In the Magee Prayer Center)

The care of self is a peaceful, productive time.  It is not a frenzy of multiple choices and little centering. Clean-up is an important part of the care of self. 

  • This piece in the rotation is designed to allow the child to recenter themselves and have a time to focus on God and themselves. There will be a space for prayer, personal study, reading and handwork. 

Care of Others (1)  (In the Kitchen and the Parish Hall)

  • Making appetizer 
  • How to use a knife. 
  • Unloading dishwasher
  • Setting tables
  • Napkins on the table folding 
  • Ice in pitchers on table
  • Cups on table

Care of Others (2)

This time is designed to allow the children to care for their environment by cleaning up from the day’s activities and provide for last minute preparation for the dinner service.

  • Sweeping the floor
  • Consolidating trash
  • Checking the bathroom for towels and toilet paper
  • Turning off lights
  • Loading the dishwasher from dinner prep
  • Consolidating recycling
  • Checking for litter outside
  • Making place mats
  • Sweeping the walkways outside
  • Setting out the appetizers 

 Work of the Heart  (In the Parish Hall)

This final piece of the camp is designed to be shared with an adult.  It is a time to allow for parents to bond with their child and find common conversation, learning, and worship.

  • music
  • discussion
  • Bible application talk
  • dinner 
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