Friday, June 29, 2012

Review: Vatican Express Catholic Kidz Camp

It's been such a faith-filled, fun, and busy week as 100 children and adults boarded the Vatican Express with the Growing with the Saints Catholic Kidz Camp at our church! 

I was one of the adult leaders for the 21 rising 2nd graders and each day I've been documenting some of the exciting things that we have learned (children and adults) on my Facebook statuses.  Here is what I wrote for Days 1-4:

Day 1 of Vatican Express with Growing with the Saints was so much fun as we learned about St. Jerome and how he had the huge job of translating the Bible into Latin!

We learned about Peter (whose name means "rock") and how he was our first Pope and our Church's foundation was built on the apostles chosen by Jesus.

There have been 265 Popes from Peter to our current Pope, Pope Benedict XVI who were chosen by the power of the Holy Spirit and it has been with the power of the Holy Spirit that our one, holy, catholic, and apostolic faith has been preserved since Jesus walked on earth! Viva il Papa! "Long live the Pope!"

"You are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church." Matthew 16:18

Day 2 of Vatican Express with Growing with the Saints was another great success as we learned all about Peter, our first Bishop of Rome, receiving the keys to the kingdom of heaven which means Jesus gave him the POWER through the Holy Spirit to rule and pass down the teachings of Christ when Jesus left the earth.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the keys to the kingdom of heaven have continuously been passed down through 265 Popes to our current Pope Benedict XVI. It is AMAZING that our Catholic faith can be traced back to the time of Jesus and Peter with the unbroken succession of Popes!

We also met St. Jerome and learned that he stood up to those who wanted to change the meaning of God's Word to fit their lifestyle and desires.

"I [Jesus] will give you [Peter] the keys to the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 16: 19-20

Day 3 of Vatican Express with Growing with the Saints Catholic Kidz Camp (VBS) fun and done! My 21 second grade campers loved learning about St. Peter's Square in Vatican City and they learned some Italian too..."Piazza San Pietro" means St. Peter's Square. We learned of some of the holy relics inside St. Peter's Basilica with bones of St. Peter that can be seen through a glass window!

It's hard to tell who is having more fun and learning the most this week, the campers or the group leaders, as the children's eyes got really big today as I told them the story of how St. Jerome's lion friend was accused of eating St. Jerome's donkey...I can't wait to tell them the outcome of this wonderful story!

With our fists in the air and smiles on our faces we shout "standing on the Rock, the universal Church of Jesus, and I'm not goin to move.....One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic!"

"I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:19

Day 4 of Vatican Express with Growing with the Saints Catholic Kidz Camp (VBS) was another fun day...and all my second graders were able to tell me the Bible verses this week from memory (with the addresses from the Bible!)

We learned about St. Peter's chair and how it is now a holy relic inside St. Peter's Basilica as a throne is built around it. We also talked about Michelangelo who was just 21 years old when he made the beautiful marbel statue, the Pieta which means pity, as Mary holds her Son as she suffered watching her Son die on the cross.

All the campers were happy that St. Jerome's lion was able to find the donkey in the dessert and that Jerome forgave the merchants for taking the donkey. Tomorrow the campers will find out that it took Jerome a little over 55 years to translate the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin! WOW!

I am disappointed that I will not be at closing tomorrow as I will be on a plane to PA for my sister's bridal shower, but I will be praying the last day will be as great as the first 4 days!

"Knock and the door will be opened to you." Luke 4:19

I can't say enough good things about this Catholic Kidz Camp that was created by Catholics for Catholics!  I loved every minute of my week and seeing all the kids soak up teachings of our beautiful Catholic faith has been so rewarding and a blessing!  One of the many highlights of my week happened yesterday when my 2nd grade group was in the Bible Story room and the activity was to reenact the Last Supper.  After Ms. K. talked a little about the Eucharist (which means "thanksgiving") a little boy in my class, A.A., played the roll of Jesus and as he held up the loaf of bread he was able to say ALL the words of Jesus (and the priest's words during every Mass) as A.A. quoted this scripture,
While they were eating, he took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and gave it to them, and said, "Take it; this is my body." Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, and they all drank from it. He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed for many."  Mk 14:22-24
Everyone was quite impressed that A.A. remembered so much and it was obvious he pays attention at Mass.  We explained to the kids that we were using bread and grape juice for our reenactment, but during Mass the host, which is unleavened bread, and wine, is actually changed to Jesus' Body and Blood through the power of the Holy Spirit and with the priest.  
The children and I also really loved the Jerome-Lion Turned Lamb storybook that each group leader read to the children each day!  It was a fascinating story and the kids couldn't wait to hear the next page as we read one page a day! 
I took several pictures this week, but don't have the time to show all of them, but here are a few cute ones I got.  
Here the children are drawing fish/creatures that live in the Tiber River before they played a game where they had to cross the river and say a memory Bible verse. 

A flock of sheep in St. Jerome's cave

I will be traveling today to visit my sister in PA and to attend her bridal shower so I will miss the last fun day of Catholic Kidz Camp, but I'm sure it will be as fun as the last 4 days!  I can't wait to see the video that my husband will take of my 4 children and the rest of the campers as they sing, dance, and praise Jesus at the Growing with the Saints Vatican Express closing!
No Ordinary Blog Hop


Laurie said...

This sounds so cool!! Congratulations on an awesome, faith-filled week.

Thanks Laurie! I was just reviewing older VBS posts for this year's post and realized I didn't comment on your congrats comment! Thanks for stopping by! :)

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