Saturday, June 28, 2014

Review: Catholic Kidz Camp (VBS) Parade Around The Our Father

Last week our local Catholic parish finished up our annual Catholic Kidz camp (VBS) week using the Parade Around the Our Father program.  In my post HERE I introduced this program that we used.

This is the third year our church has used the Growing with the Saints (GWTS) programs created by Catholics for Catholics.  Our Catholic faith is so rich with history, traditions, saints, beauty, and faith.  GWTS programs understand how incredible our Catholic faith is and their commitment to pass down our Catholic faith in such fun and blessed ways to our children makes these programs the best fit for Catholic parishes everywhere, I believe!  

You can read my review of our Vatican Express Catholic Kidz Camp experience in the summer 2012 HERE.

You can read my review of  Assorted Saints and the Virtues Catholic Kidz Camp experience in the summer of 2013 HERE. 

It was another faith-filled, fun, and busy week as many children and adults explored the "Our Father" prayer in depth through God's Word, songs, crafts, games, smiles, laughter and fellowship!

I was one of the adult leaders for the rising 1st graders.  As a leader, I read from St. Joseph of Cupertino (pronounced "Cooper-tino"), which is a beautifully written and illustrated book about this humble and fascinating saint!  We read one page each day and the children and adults looked forward to how Joseph's story unfolded.
My two older children volunteered their time helping with games and snacks for the week while my rising 5th grade daughter and rising 1st grade daughter were campers.  Here's a brief summary of some of our fun!

Day 1...God Listens (Prayer)
The lesson was about prayer, which is talking to God.  As we pray God listens anytime, anywhere!  In the storybook we learned how God blessed Joseph.  We talked about the meaning of the beginning of the "Our Father" prayer that Jesus taught his apostles. 

"Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name..." 
Memory Verse for Day 1 for PreK-2:  "Praise the God of heaven."  (Psalms 136:26)
We love Ms. Anne (dressed in red), the leader of this Our Father Parade!  My 6 year old is not pictured since she rode with friends to the first day of Catholic Kidz Camp.

Ms. Anne clowning around with the campers and Brother Brown teaching the kids about prayer! 

We were entertained and grateful for all the teens animals (Hippo, Monkey, (Clown) Leopard, Zebra)  that helped make the Parade Around the Our Father Camp a fun time!

I took a picture of "THE PHOTOGRAPHER" for the week.  She does a great job capturing the moments and memories and puts the pictures in a slide show for the kids and parents to watch at the closing on Friday.  Here is my 1st grade group learning the music and hand motions for the songs for the week.  All the kids loved singing the fun songs all week with our high school and college-aged young adult volunteers! 

Learning about God's Word in the Bible Bandwagon.  Ms. Coon and her daughters did a great job teaching fun and interesting Bible stories all week long! 

"Flying Friar" tamborine craft that the K-2 groups made and enjoyed!

Day 2...God Provides (Eucharist)
The lesson was about how God provides for us spiritually and physically with the great gift of the Eucharist.   In the storybook we learned what happened to Joseph at the monastery.  We talked more about the meaning of the "Our Father" prayer that Jesus taught his apostles. 

"Give us this day our daily bread..."
Memory Verse for Day 2 for PreK-2:  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart"  (Proverbs 3:5)

Ms. Mary Jo was the co-leader for our 1st grade group and here she is reading the beginning part of Saint Joseph of Cupertino's story.  Mary Jo and I make a great team, I think.  I just love working with her each year!  
 My youngest hung out with my group all week long and I must say she enjoyed watching all the skits, music, children, crafts and all my 1st graders wanted to hold her all the time :) 
Face Painting! 

Brother Brown shows our group the cross necklace around his neck.

 Bible Activity:  Learning the memory verse for the day and playing fun games!

 The crafts are creative and cool! 

Day 3...God Forgives (Forgiveness)
The lesson was about how God forgives us through the sacrament of Reconciliation, one of the seven sacraments in the Catholic Church.   In the storybook we learned which job Joseph was given.  We talked more about the meaning of the "Our Father" prayer that Jesus taught his apostles. 

"And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us..."

 Memory Verse for Day 3 for PreK-2:  "Treat people the way you want to be treated" 
Adapted (Matthew 7:12)

 On Day 3 we heard the story of Zacchaeus and how Jesus forgave him.

Zealous zebras learning about our Catholic faith to spread it to the whole world! 

Day 4...God Guides (Obedience)
The lesson was about how God guides us to make good choices.   In the storybook we learned about Joseph's favorite prayer, which is The Litany of the Mother of God.   We talked more about the meaning of the "Our Father" prayer that Jesus taught his apostles. 

"And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil..."
Memory Verse for Day 3 for PreK-2:  "All things are possible with God." 
Adapted (Matthew 19:26)

The campers had fun with this relay race game where they filled a can with water by squeezing a wet sponge!

The craft for today for our 1st graders was to decorate a priest stole and write a big thank you card for our priests.  
 The Bible Story was about the temptation of Jesus.

And here's a short clip of our campers singing the theme song, "One True God."

"All creation shouts your name...Shouts your name! You are God, one True God, you are God, you never change!" 

Day 5...Priests Serve God (Be a Missionary)
The lesson was about how God calls some men to serve God through the priesthood.  Priests serve God by helping and guiding us to follow Jesus.  In the storybook we learned why Joseph was so happy.   We talked about the end of the "Our Father" prayer that Jesus taught his apostles. 

"Amen" means "I believe!"
Memory Verse for Day 3 for PreK-2:  "As the Father has sent me, so I send you." 
(John 20:21)

The last day of Catholic Kidz Camp happened to fall on the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus.  The leader of the Bible Stories for the week lit this Sacred Heart candle and told the children about how much Jesus' Sacred Heart loves each one of us.  

{You can go HERE to see how my family celebrated the Sacred Heart of Jesus at home with edible artwork.}

We were blessed to be able to first have the kids color a monstrance sun catcher during craft time, then there was adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in our church's chapel so our Bible Story teacher brought our group to kneel in prayer in front of Jesus.  This was beautiful to witness!
We also got to see our newly ordained priest, Father Michael, do the benediction of the Blessed Sacrament as he reverently placed Jesus back inside the tabernacle at the altar of the church. 

At the end of the camp parents were invited to hear all that was learned during the week.  Each group did a short performance by singing a song with hand motions from the Parade Around The Our Father CD and/or reciting the Bible verses that everyone learned during the week.  It's always a fun way to end such a great week with lots of smiles and joy! 

I highly recommend this program or any Growing with the Saints programs for your parish!  I loved Vatican Express from Summer 2012 and Assorted Saints and the Virtues from Summer 2013 and Parade Around the Our Father for this summer was just as faith-filled and fun as the previous two programs!    It was such a joy to share my love for our beautiful Catholic faith with the children, volunteers and families that attended this year's Catholic Kidz Camp! 

Our Director of Children's Ministry, Ms. Anne, does an awesome job organizing and planning the camps each year and she puts in many, many, many hours making them successful!  We are blessed with Ms. Anne!

Our church and volunteers are already looking forward to next year's Catholic Kidz Camp!  


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