It’s not a big secret that I’m a big advocate for summer camp for kids. Especially a summer camp that teaches kids about Jesus! Some of my best childhood memories are from camp. I spent the summer after I graduated high school working at a GA Camp. And now, I have the opportunity every year to write the curriculum and participate in some degree with my dad’s Associational Camp. You can read more specifics about this particular camp in this post I wrote last year.
Why do I care so much about camp? Well, other than the massive amounts of fun that I see kids of all colors, shapes, and sizes having at camp…there is nothing like getting hot and sweaty with a bunch of believers to help draw you closer to Jesus.
I’m totally serious.
ANYWAY, this was a special year for our family because it was the first year that Ava was old enough to attend Day Camp. (Available for 4 year olds through 2nd graders.) That fact in combination with the fact that I currently have a nursing baby led to the decision that, instead of helping with the overnight camp (for 3rd – 8th graders) like I usually do, I would help with Day Camp instead. About three weeks ago, I loaded up the van with the three kids and the supplies required for each, and we left Daddy to work during the day and pack up the apartment at night, and we went to Day Camp!
Let me preface our pictures with a couple big THANK YOUs: THANK YOU to my parents who let us (and the crazyness that comes with us!) stay at your house during one of your busiest weeks of the year, and THANK YOU to my m.i.l. for keeping Izzy and Egan in your nice air conditioned house so that I could help at camp without worrying about them!
The day started off with music, brought by this young lady from a local church. Ava came home singing a couple new songs!
Our camp nurse, Miss Susan, getting some smiles out of Egan. I might have gotten a little sentimental when I realized that this is the same camp nurse who babysat baby Ava for me numerous times at the camp clinic while I was helping with overnight camp…oh, about 4 years ago!
Two of Ava’s aunts, Stacey and Tori, joined us at Day Camp. Did I have the clarity of thought to make all girls get together for a pose while at camp? Unfortunately, no.
Camp is not complete without a song with motions!
After music was recreation time.
Today’s activities may have involved a gigantic kick ball.
Ava waiting to kick the ball…getting her game face on…
(And yes, I realize I’m the only parent whose daughter chose to wear a skirt to day camp. That’s how she rolls. Don’t worry, there are shorts built in.)
Tori kicking the ball.
That’s my princess!!!
After recreation was Bible study. Can you guess what our key verse for the week was???
The girl sitting next to Ava is very involved with the associational camps. I worked with her at overnight camp last year, and she always does an excellent job…the kids love her! She’s a great example of a Christian teen who makes a huge impact in the lives of children by giving up some of her summer to be at camp.
And this is her dad! He takes off work every summer to be at camp, and I cannot tell you how much it inspires me to see him ministering to these kids year after year!
Sorry about the pink stroller, Egan! It’s a loaner from Gigi…
Here is the older kids’ class. Still wondering about the key verse?
That’s my dad to the left!
Jackpot question: Who can tell me what all of these things have in common??? Winner gets a shout-out on the blog!!! (Hey, I have to start small with my give-aways ) (And, Gigi, if you ask Stacey or Tori the answer, that’s cheating! )
After Bible study was lunch time…I guess I never took pictures of that because I was either taking Egan to Gigi’s or getting ready for crafts or…eating lunch!
Then it was times for Crafts. Dad asked me to “do” the crafts this year. Meaning pick out the crafts, create a supply list, and then be there to administer the crafts. Despite how my blog makes me appear sometimes, I’m really not a crafty person (although I definitely appreciate how crafts can occupy kids!), so this was a step out of my comfort zone. But, we gave it our all, and other than the wind blowing half my birdseed away and the bubble solution/tempera paint/straw craft being an epic fail, I think it went OK!
I spent a lot of time with tempera paint and white glue this week!
After craft time was swim time, which I don’t have any pictures of since I had to clean up the crafts and then go to nurse Egan. Also not pictured is the subsequent snack time, in which I will always pick on my dad for allowing my typically milk/juice/water only 4 year old to have a 12 OUNCE CAN OF GRAPE SODA all to herself!
I have to say that it was really neat to be able to sort of “watch from afar” my child’s first camp experience. I got a little teary when I walked by her Bible story group just when her teacher happened to be making the Gospel presentation. We tell our kids about Jesus all the time…but to hear someone else do it…well, it’s special.
And what did Princess Ava think of Day Camp? She LOVED it! If you ever want to listen to her talk for a LONG time, just ask her about Day Camp. She’ll take care of the rest. She’s already talking about how she’s excited to go next year. Before she went to Day Camp, she said she thought it would be boring. On the second day, I asked her how things are going, and she said, “You were right, mommy. Everything at Day Camp is a lot of fun!” I figured I should write that down since she’s not going to say sentences that start with “You were right” very often!
Having said this, if you have kids and a Christian camp in your area, (whether it be through your church or association, the YMCA, GA or RA camp, or something else) let me just drop a little plug that you should consider sending your kids to it next summer. That is all.