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Planning, Prep and Follow up

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Go to Monday

  • Pray: pray for the camp, the campers and the volunteers that they would grow in faith and be transformed by God’s extravagant love and creation
  • Build a team: consider what the purpose of the camp is and why you are running the camp. Identify people* who will help you share the message and engage the campers
  • Divvy up the different parts of the day/week, be sure to share the load
  • Send out personal Invitations to the potential campers you know
  • Invite outside partners – to help with the Exploratories
  • Invite a representative from PWRDF to join you
  • Attend a webinar training
  • Practice the elements of a day at camp, Worship, Stories, Games, Art, Science…
  • Make adaptations to fit your context
  • Collect resources 

*Identify people and please ensure that the people you recruit as volunteers have a Criminal Record Check and have completed the Diocesan Safe Church Training.

Follow up

Following up with campers and their families is really important whether they are regular parishioners, occasional parishioners or you are encountering the campers for the first time.

  • Extend invitations to children and families to parish events
  • Sunday School, Youth Group, Harvest Supper……
  • Send a Christmas card with a photograph of the camp and memories of the week (these are best written immediately after the camp whilst it is still fresh in your mind)
  • Host a community free cycle
  • Offer events and opportunities to continue to learn together
  • Host a family movie night

Each Day at a Glance

Gathering Activities  

You could have both of these activities on offer as folks begin to arrive. 

Person Outline to be developed through the week – could be used as a banner in your church community.

You will need:

  • paper
  • a bed sheet
  • markers
  • tape
  • paints and brushes 
  • a flat service to hang the sheet on

Invite every participant and volunteer to have their outline drawn on the sheet, choose what is best for the individual, you could lay the sheet on the ground or hang it on the wall.

Make sure there is paper behind the sheet as this will stop the pen going through to the surface. 

Invite campers and volunteers to write words on the banner that have spoken to them from the previous day. 

Use the paints to decorate the banner as pictured here.

Weaving the story of creation and weaving your part in it is an ongoing activity throughout the week. Your weaving could be used as an altar frontal or Lectern hanging, depending on size.

You will need:

  • a weaving frame made from sticks
  • some string or twine to weave through

As campers arrive invite them to find things to build the weaving. 

Your coils can also include some paper with prayers, words from scripture or words that stand out from the previous day. 

Build on this throughout the week. 

Worship

Worship is a time for everyone, campers, volunteers, all who are gathered –in planning worship we have tried to hold this in mind to remember this is a time for the whole community. During worship, set time aside to be intentional, to hear God’s word, to celebrate, to confess, to be forgiven, to affirm our faith. 

Just as with our regular worship this time needs to be relevant, inclusive, transforming and caring, and reflective of who we are as a community of believers. If there are prayers or rituals you use with your children and in youth ministry programs, please use those and incorporate them into the worship and time together. 

If you use a particular translation or method of storytelling, please use that, if you would like to try something different here are some translations of the Genesis passage. 

  • NRSV. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1%3A+1-31&version=NRSV 
  • Easy to read version. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1%3A+1-31&version=ERV
  • Message. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1%3A+1-31&version=MSG 
  • The word on the street. 
  • Text http://benkefordito.hu/images/09_GYAK_Street%20Bible_IntroGen1-3.pdf
  • Audio https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-b_7YEOfoyw
  • Godly Play https://godlyplay.ca/ 
  • “It Was Good” Video by The Work of The People https://www.theworkofthepeople.com/search?page=6&searchtext=Gensis+1%3A1-2%3A4a

Encounter 1

During this first Encounter, campers and volunteers will engage in Scripture. For this week, the Scripture is the first creation story: Genesis 1:1-31. On Monday we will introduce the theme and read the whole narrative. On each of the consecutive days we will focus on particular passages and have that frame your day together. 

Encounter 2

During the second Encounter, campers and volunteers will learn about PWRDF and our partners. The PWRDF partner stories are available in text format to be read by one of the volunteers. We suggest you use a world map or globe as props to tell the story. There are images of the PWRDF partners on our website PWRDF.org. 

The story is followed by a prayer and a game to transition into the Exploratories, a time for campers to creatively process, express and connect to the focus for that day. We have chosen the term exploratory so as not to predetermine the outcome or prescribe a particular path. There is no right or wrong way for campers to discover and share their Encounters with God through Art, Play or Science. 

Art Exploratory

Campers explore the possibilities of the mediums they will be working with without determining or defining a specific outcome. 

Science Exploratory

Campers are provided with materials with which to experiment to discover what and how things work. Walk campers through an experiment and allow them to consider why things happen; they will try different methods and discover other possible answers. 

Play Exploratory

Introduce the game and explain the rules and the goal. Allow groups to develop their strategy if time permits. You could play a game a couple of times to allow the reflective process and teamwork development to be explored. 

A series of videos accompanies PWRDF Encounters 2020. These videos have been put together to support you through this summer ministry whether you are using the resource as a family or facilitating it as a virtual summer Vacation Bible School. Look for the YouTube link to indicate where a video is available. Videos include the retellings of Genesis 1 and the first creation story in different styles, songs, PWRDF partner stories, prayers and meditation. We’ve also put together videos to guide you through the art and science exploratories. 

Encounter 3

During the third Encounter campers and volunteers will have the opportunity to engage in their communities both the Church community and the wider community. We will make a number of suggestions for you to reach out to people in your community. The whole idea of this is to provide an opportunity to learn from people in the community about what they do, why they do it and how you might get involved. 

Community Encounter ideas:  

  • Working with a local Indigenous group, learn about native plants and their medicinal properties, plant a native plant garden
  • Establish a community garden, with flowers to attract pollinators
  • Land rehabilitation — identify invasive plants and remove them 
  • Connect with a local beekeeper
  • Connect with a local vermicomposting or community composting program
  • Visit a wildlife rehabilitation centre
  • Contact your local council or a community organization to see if there is a clean up project that you can work on together 

Meditation, Mindfulness and Prayer 

Meditation can be at the start of the day as part of the worship, just after the worship or at the end of the day. The mindfulness elements can be used as an exercise throughout the day and meditation/prayer can be inter-changed as they can be contemplative prayer. 

The Mindfulness resource was written by Rev. Cheryl Barker. She writes: “The first part is to explain that meditation is an exercise of the imagination. For me meditation engages my relationship with God, my ability to listen, and allows me to delve deeper into my feelings. It can often provide a great understanding of what the situation or feelings are all about. Oftentimes people will say that they can’t do it or they don’t know how. 

“Mindfulness means to be in the present moment and aware. It is best used throughout the day when you want to have a moment where people are fully engaged and aware of their being.”

While children have an inherent understanding of the ability to imagine sometimes we need a reminder. A preliminary exercise for the group would be to ask them to close their eyes and imagine their bedroom. Ask them to imagine all of the elements of the room, toys, etc. Ask them to see it without saying anything and once they can visualize this ask them to raise their hands. They have just done it.

“Mindfulness means to be in the present moment and aware. It is best used throughout the day when you want to have a moment where people are fully engaged and aware of their being.”