I don’t know about you, but I was desperately looking forward to the weekend last week. It was one of those weekends that had been on the calendar for months…an “epic weekend” as the young folks say.
Here are a few things that I did:
- spent hours in 100+ degree heat
- ate way too much junk food
- cleaned up the vomit of strangers (twice!) who ate even more junk food than I
- hiked up a steep incline (up a canyon wall) with 2-3 people pulling me in the opposite direction (also in 100+ degree heat)
- walked and walked and walked and walked (in really terrible tennis shoes, no less). Did I mention it was 100+ degrees?
- lost approximately 42,000 brain cells by being confined in a small space with all kinds of unidentifiable fumes from craft projects
So, maybe that doesn’t look like an “epic weekend,” but it was! Last weekend was our church’s annual Kids Camp. It’s kind of a big deal. In fact, I would say that it’s one of the biggest (and most important) ministries of our church. We take approximately 150 kids to a church camp located in the bottom of a canyon just outside our city limits. For four days, we spoil kids (unlimited snacks!) and share the love of Jesus with them. Because we only charge a minimal fee ($10–the church pays for the rest which I assure you is much more than ten bucks), we usually take many kids from poverty situations and difficult home lives who think that camp is like Heaven on earth: plenty of food, adults who love on them and a swimming pool to boot! Teachers always report back about how the kids spend the school year reminiscing about their camp days and asking them to play the highlight DVDs that we send home with them. We end the weekend with a worship service that all parents are invited to attend, followed by a hamburger cookout (because Baptists don’t get together unless there’s some kind of food involved).
It was exhausting and–you guessed it–HOT, but like the Visa commercial says, the cost was priceless. Here are some wonderful things that I got to do this weekend:
- receive lots and lots of hugs
- make crafts, play games with and teach the Bible to a bunch of super-awesome second grade girls
- go on a hayride
- watch The Husband drive a tractor for the first time (they were desperate for a second hayride driver)
- hike a canyon wall
- council with a girl who told me that she believed in Jesus and was ready to follow Him all of her life
- hang out with some of my favorite adults, including my friend Shawnda (our camp speaker) who has truly has been gifted with the ability to relate the Bible to children
- hang out with some pretty cool teenage “junior sponsors” as well (appearances can be deceiving–LOL!)
- eat homemade cookies! :)
- visit with people that I’ve only seen in passing at church, getting to know them a little better
- watch grown men race little boys in an effort to prove that they aren’t OLD men
- watch The Husband try to preach while wearing full metal armor and carrying a sword (the theme was “Battle Ready”–as in being ready to face life’s battles)
- listen to the sound of children sing praises to God and thinking that it must be a sweet, sweet sound in His ears
Even though we were all looking and smelling what I can only refer to as “campy” (see photo) by Sunday afternoon and we were all ready for a hibernation-type nap, our family loves being a part of this ministry. I think Jesus would approve.
What are your favorite children’s ministries?