Monday, June 29, 2015

Review: "Set Sail With the Holy Trinity" Catholic Kidz Camp Week

Last week our parish had another faith-filled, fun and successful Catholic Kidz Camp (also referred to as "The Totally Catholic VBS").  As mentioned in this previous post, our parish has been using the Catholic publisher Growing with the Saints for several years now and they have created wonderful programs and I have reviewed each one from the past several summers.

Our wonderful, hard working youth director, Ms. Anne, said that many children were disappointed that the camp only lasted a week!  They were ready for more fun! I helped lead a group of rising 1st graders throughout the week, along with my wonderful friend and some teen helpers.  My 7 year old daughter was a camper in the 2nd grade group, while my 3 older children volunteered their time and talents doing various jobs with the campers.  My almost 2 year old was a champ in the nursery at church!

 Photo credit:  Growing with the Saints 

Below is a summary and a glimpse of our week where we "Set Sail with the Holy Trinity featuring St. Patrick!   You can also view the Set Sail Program Overview .

Each morning all the campers met in the large hall to see a skit by our parish youth. They all did a wonderful job!  The skit was about parts of St. Patrick's life.  (he's the guy in green in the photos)  The creative and fun props for the skit were made by the Black family along with some youth helpers.

After the skit was done, then each group was led by their leaders to each of the 6 activities: Bible Activity in the Bible Beacon room, Gangplank Games, Crafts, Snacks (a youth and adult favorite!), Music and Group Activity (where the leaders read from The Adventures of Saint Patrick storybook and taught the faith lesson for each day).

Below are some of my 1st graders walking down the hall to another activity as the line leader holds our "Playful Pirates" sign. Each grade was assigned a cute name and given a sign to hold.

Sitting at the table during our snack time is Deacon Mike who will be ordained a priest next June, God-willing.  His green shamrock headband was a hit that I gifted to him for the day. :)  Deacon Mike is visiting our parish during the summer and everyone enjoyed chatting with him at the snack table.  Our teen helper is reading from The Adventures of Saint Patrick storybook

For the Bible Activity in the Bible Beacon room the volunteers read a story from Sacred Scripture and then did a fun activity that centered around the Bible story.  In the photo below the campers are pretending to be various animals God made.  They are also acting out the good Samaritan parable.  The kids really liked using the rolled up gauze to help their neighbors in need!

The "Gangplank Games" were always a fun way to exert some energy and creatively memorize the scripture verse for that day.   Here is the list of Scripture verses my 1st graders learned through the week:

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you..."  (Jeremiah 1:5) 

"With all my heart I seek you;..." (Psalm 119:10)

"But as for me, I am filled with power, with the spirit of the Lord..." (Micah 3:8)

"The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you." ( 2 Corithians 13:13)

"As the Father has sent me, so I send you." (John 20:21)  

And don't you just love this sidewalk chalk art created by one of my first graders?   Someone is praying saying "help the kids be hole"  ("holy")

Each day the campers made a new craft around the lesson's theme.   I had a creative and artistic group of 1st graders!  It's always fun to see all their creations.

The campers also really enjoyed "Songs of the Sea" Music room where they danced and sang each day to various songs. For our closing, my first graders sang "My name is Bishop Patrick" which is a wonderful song about St. Patrick and the hand motions to show the Holy Trinity was something I don't think kids and adults will forget since it was so much fun! 

On Thursday, we were blessed to go into our church and listen to Deacon Mike speak a little about Adoration with the monstrance and humeral veil, the Eucharist and a little bit about himself.  What a gift to be able to share our faith with so many young people in this way!  Some of Catholic and non-Catholic campers may have never been exposed to adoration and the monstrance or have been around a young seminarian so this was a great opportunity and faith-filled learning experience for all.

On Friday, we took our children into church again so they could bless themselves with holy water since all week we discussed the Holy Trinity.  We also went to adoration for a few minutes so they could spend some quiet time with Jesus in the monstrance.  All our children were reverent and did so well adoring Jesus in this way. 
One of our parent volunteers made this beautiful and creative monstrance for her kindergarten group so I borrowed it and showed it to my group and told them a little about what it was.  Thanks L.B.! :)

Towards the end of the week things got a little out of hand and crazy :) So much so, our youth director thought taking a selfie with Deacon Mike and his shamrock headband would be a fun idea :) It only took all of us about 5 min. to figure out how to get us all in the picture ;-)  
On the right side of the photo is our 2 priests at the closing.  The campers signed cards and wrote messages on them for our wonderful parish priests.  

A BIG thanks to Ms. Anne for all that she does to make Catholic Kidz Camp a success each summer! It's always sad to see another camp finished, but our family always says that camp is one of the highlights of our summer so we, along with many others, look forward to another great time next year!


Looks like a fun filled learning time for everyone.


Thanks for stopping in and reading the post and commenting Mrs. Pepper!
:-) It was a faith-filled and fun week! :)

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