Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Review: Parachute with the Angels and St. Catherine Laboure Catholic Kidz Camp



Last week our parish had another faith-filled, fun and successful Catholic Kidz Camp (CKC) using another one of the Growing with the Saints excellent authentically Catholic programs!  Many may be more familiar with the term "VBS"(Vacation Bible School).  CKC is very similar to VBS, but CKC is....you got it...Catholic and CKC is the new VBS!   Growing with the Saints was written by Catholics for Catholics! Same concept as VBS, which is to teach our youth (and adults too) the Good News of Jesus Christ, but CKC also highlights the many specific, beautiful teachings of our Catholic Church through skits, arts and crafts, games, Bible stories, snacks and music!!  (snacks and music are favorite stations among the campers! :) )


This was our parish's 5th year using the Growing with the Saints CKC programs and they have all been excellent!  Here is a list of the programs we have used the past four years and the links take you to my blog posts about each themed CKC:

June 2012: Vatican Express featuring St. Jerome
June 2013: Assorted Saints and the Virtues of Faith, Hope and Love
June 2014: Parade Around the Our Father featuring St. Joseph of Cupertino
June 2015: Set Sail with the Holy Trinity featuring St. Patrick

This year's theme was Parachute with the Angels and St. Catherine Laboure.

 photo credit:  Growing with the Saints

For an overview of the week be sure to visit the Camp Overview page to check out all the fun and learning that the campers did during the week!  

I mentioned above that the campers seemed to like the snack and music "stations".  They love to eat and dance alot! :)  Ms. Anne, our wonderfully organized and hard-working children's youth ministry director, prints out a schedule for each grade level to follow through the week.  The schedule is broken into time slots where volunteer adult and youth leaders lead their age group around to each themed station.

This year we parachuted with the angels to:
*Control Tower Drop Zone (in the parish hall where CKC began and ended each day)
*Uplift Music
*Chutes Snacks
*Target Bible
*Runaway Games
*Cloud Crafts
*Faith in Flight (this station is where the group leaders taught a brief lesson and read from their copy of St. Catherine Laboure storybook)

With another adult volunteer and two wonderful teen volunteers, I lead a group of rising first graders throughout the week and we were "Gabriel's Gang".   Here is the schedule we followed during CKC Mon.-Thurs. and Friday's schedule looked a bit different (not pictured) because of the kids' final performances for parents to close out CKC week...

Here are just a few highlights of our week with my camera phone that doesn't always take the best photos. :/

Ms. Anne does a wonderful job with the decorations each year!  This year Ms. Anne had a "God-cidence" that gave her chills when she saw that the parish school's graduation decorations were the exact same theme as CKC's theme! So she was able to borrow the hot air balloon, balloon rainbow and a few other decorations!  
Each morning began with the sign of the cross and prayers as a group (Hail Mary, Angel of God prayer, and St. Michael prayer) and then the youth acted out skits to go with each day's topic.  The youth worked hard and did a fantastic job! And then of course, each group had a designated snack time during the morning!

Here are my rising 1st graders walking to their next station with our wonderful teen helpers with the second adult leader at the head of the line in the background.
 

Lots of games, sweat, water breaks and laughter! :) 
The foil Miraculous Medal was made by the older campers and it was a hit and so beautiful!  


Like last year, each age group had the opportunity to visit the chapel in our church and spend time in front of the Blessed Sacrament adoring our Lord.  After I spoke to our first grade group about how to show reverence and talk to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, our class went into the chapel a few minutes to listen to our Lord speak to our hearts in the silence.  I didn't take a photo of our class this year during adoration, but this is a photo from a few years ago during CKC with one of our priests.


I look forward to CKC each year as a parent and a regular volunteer and I love to learn from all the children that attend!  I'm also grateful that my older children volunteer their time to help during the week and my younger children enjoy being campers!  It's beautiful to see our Catholic faith, which is full of Truth, wonder and treasures, being taught in fun and creative ways!  I am so grateful for the Growing with the Saints programs and all those that work hard to create such great programs!  I thank Ms. Anne for all her hard work and the many helping hands that help bring our Catholic parish an authentically Catholic CKC!   We look forward to next year's CKC!






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