Theme: Water & Vegetation
Registration and Sign in
During the gathering worship service we will take time to introduce components of the service such as Affirmation, Confession, Creed, Lord’s Prayer, Peace.
Things you will need – altar space with stones, instruments to lead and for campers to accompany with, music, projector, screen and computer, world map.
Welcome to Camp!
- Welcome campers.
- Outline the day so campers know what to expect.
- Go over the safety plan.
- Indicate where water stations, quiet areas and washrooms are located.
The above video includes Encounters, Prayers and Exploratory activites.
Invitation to worship
God of extravagant love, you call us to this new day as the world around us wakens from its rest. Thank you for this place we call home and those who have tended and cared for it before us. Today we pray in this time that we Encounter your word through the stories and sharing, the songs and joyful noise, through your creation as with each other. Amen
Genesis 1: 6-13 ( in a translation you wish to use, reference the introduction for examples.)
- What is your favourite part of the story?
- What do you think the first fruit or vegetable to grow was?
- What would you plant?
- If God was only present to this world through vegetation what vegetation would God be?
- What do you think the Earth looked like?
Encourage the campers to retell the story through movement and words
PWRDF Partner stories – St. Jude Family Projects
St. Jude Family Projects is an organization in Uganda, Africa. It was started by a woman named Josephine and her husband John. Josephine and John were teachers, but when war broke out in their country, they lost everything, and began to grow food so they could feed themselves. Their crops weren’t growing well, so they asked a family member for a couple piglets so they could use their manure (poop), which is full of nutrients, to help their food grow faster and to produce more. A few years later, Josephine took an organic farming course and learned how to make compost, which also helps food to grow. This new knowledge improved Josephine’s food growth a lot, so she began to share what she learned and to teach others in the community. The woman who taught the course came back to visit and was so impressed with the way Josephine was sharing her knowledge that she paid for her to go to university in England and learn about organic farming.
In 1997, Josephine and John turned their small-scale family farm into an official teaching farm for local people, and St. Jude Family Projects became an NGO, Non Governmental Organization – like PWRDF. Here people could learn hands-on farming skills that they could use to grow their own food, and skills they could teach their family members. St. Jude’s goal is to see healthy people eating many different healthy foods and having a good source of income (money), as well as creating a community where people help teach each other and use their shared skills to become even stronger.
St. Jude’s focuses on teaching three main groups: women, children and youth. In Uganda, most of the farming is done by women, and many don’t have a lot of food to eat. By teaching them how to grow their own food
in their gardens using simple methods, they can eat, and even feed their families. They can also teach their children how to grow food too. One program that focuses on that is the Super Women program, where local women train other women to plant and grow seedlings (baby plants), to plant and fertilize banana trees, to make soap to improve hygiene and health, to collect rainwater and use it for their gardens, and to raise piglets so they can use their manure to help their plants to grow big and strong.
St. Jude’s also has projects at government schools, where poorer children go and often these kids don’t have lunch. St. Jude’s has set up gardens here that grow food so the kids can eat lunch and they teach them the farming techniques that will help them when they grow up. The kids are also able to teach their parents what they learned, so their parents can grow their own food too. St. Jude’s also focuses on teaching youth in the community, helping them understand that they are powerful and energetic, and can work to help protect the environment. They also encourage youth to learn farming skills, so they understand that there is something for them to do in their rural community, and they work to make it a better place to live, to encourage youth to stay in the community.
One of the main focuses of St. Jude’s is a type of farming called permaculture, a type of farming that follows and uses the patterns of natural ecosystems. At St. Jude’s, they copy ecosystems by using systems that trap rainwater and use it in a way that wastes no water. By teaching local farmers these principles, they can survive on their smaller pieces of land, collecting water and using it all on that same piece of land. They also encourage and teach community members to use composters, fertilizers and manures to feed the soil, and in turn, the soil feeds them by growing better food faster.
St. Jude Family Projects helps teach locals in Uganda about good farming practices, to help them and their families grow food while still taking care of the environment. By putting their farming practices to use, they end up with a system that helps to feed the whole community, without having to worry about the days to come.
- Can you find Uganda on the map?
- Do you collect compost at home? What do you put in the compost?
- Kids in the school teach their parents the farming they learn. Do you learn things in school or here at camp that you can teach your parents?
- Does anyone grow vegetables at home?
- What do plants need to grow?
Song – River, by Julian Patterson
River, rush-a-down to the ocean blue
River, from a mountain high
River, as you do what rivers do,
River, draw the Spirit Nigh
Spirit, come-a-down to the riverside,
Spirit, from a mountain high
Spirit, I am free for you to guide
Spirit, pray that I be taught
Water, let me drink of your healing power
Water, strength of life you give
Water, as I travel with each hour
Water, help my body live
River, flow-a-down where you ran before
River, source of clearer view
River, as I walk your rocky shore
River, see my journey through
Words & Music: Julian Pattison © 2003 Julian Pattison; All rights reserved.
Reprinted under ONE LICENSE #A-735670
Pass around the basket of stones. Once everyone has a stone, ask the campers and volunteers, “What are you most looking forward to today?”
Once everyone has thought of something, invite them to bring their stone up to the altar and name out loud what they are looking forward to today.
Once everyone has had a chance to respond, offer a prayer for those things and the day at camp.
Thank you for the waters and vegetation, the things that nourish us and feed our bodies. Thank you for people like ___________ who grow food in their communities and share the harvest and teach other people to do the same.
We pray for all the things we have named, all the things we are looking forward to today and that in all these things we encounter you
Today, as we go about all of our camp activities, pay attention to where you water and the vegetation, and remember that God has and is creating these things, as you notice them. What do you think God is saying to you?
- Construction paper
Directions: Try a couple of different ways of shadow tracing, one using nature and one using objects, maybe animal figures.
Objects: Place a table in a sunny spot where long shadows will be cast. Unroll paper or have each camper place an object on a single piece of paper then encourage campers to trace the shadows.
Nature: Encourage campers to explore the space and find a shadow that is being cast by a tree, flower or other interesting pattern. Place the paper so the shadow is cast on the paper and trace the outline.
Once campers have traced a shadow they can fill in the patterns with paint. Cut out the pattern and place it on a contrasting colour or make scenery if they did the object shadow. There are some great examples by Lisa Lipsett here: https://creativebynature.org/light-and-shadow/#top
Grow veggies from kitchen scraps
Unlike a traditional backyard garden planted from seeds, growing from scraps allows you to regrow vegetables and see the process in just a few days.
- The tops of root vegetables, carrots, beets, onions or potatoes, or the bottoms of green onions/scallions and romaine lettuce all work well.
- Small glass jar
- Shallow tray
- Knife and cutting board
*Note: These instructions tell you how to regrow scallions, but it also includes tips for growing other types of vegetables. Carrots will not grow new carrots but they should grow new greens from the top. While carrot greens are edible, they tend to have a bitter taste. If you don’t care to eat them, they can be planted in potting soil once they have sprouted and be kept as houseplants. The same is true for garlic. Sprouted potatoes and sweet potatoes are fun to watch grow, but require more steps to produce new potatoes.
What You Do:
- Show and help campers to prepare the vegetables
a. Green onions/scallions: cut about one inch (2.5 cm) from the end saving the root portion.
b. Carrots and other root vegetables: cut off the tops – ideally they would have a little bit of green attached.
c. Romaine lettuce and celery: save a two inch (5 cm) section from the bottom.
- Place the cut scallion ends into the small jar and add just enough water to cover the lower third of the roots
- Set the container(s) in a sunny spot, such as on a window sill
- Refresh the water every day or so. You will start to notice new green shoots in just a day or two and these new shoots will be enough to harvest and use within five days.
- Carrot tops and celery hearts take a bit longer to grow
- To regrow the romaine and root vegetables place the romaine heart and the tops in water. Set the containers in a sunny spot. Refresh the water every day or so. You will start to notice new growth. You may also notice roots forming. Once you see regrowth happening and roots forming, transplant them into some potting soil. Cover the base of the vegetable with soil right up to where the new growth has started. Water them well, give them plenty of sun and enjoy harvesting!
What is happening:
Did you know that even after you have eaten all that you can eat of some vegetables, and all you have left is a bit to throw away, it isn’t really the end?
Plants can keep on living and growing, putting out new roots and sprouting new stems after they’ve been picked out of the ground or if part of the plant is removed, as long as they have all of the things that they need. What do plants need to grow? The same as humans: Water and Energy! Animals get their energy from food. Plants get their energy primarily from the sun using photosynthesis however they can also get energy from nutrients in the soil. Different plants require different amounts of water, sunlight and nutrients. To start putting out shoots and roots, all your little leftover bit of vegetable needs is water and sunlight. It can’t grow forever like that, it will need soil and nutrients at some point but that’s all you need to get it started.
When you buy scallions at the store or market, they’ve still got roots attached to the bottom, which makes them very easy to regrow. Carrots don’t come with the roots attached because the carrot IS the root of that plant, so while the top of a carrot can’t grow you a whole new carrot, you can grow carrot greens from it. Carrot greens can be eaten — you can add them to salads or make carrot top pesto!
Some vegetables don’t even need that much help to get growing – if you leave garlic and onion unused for too long, you might find that a green shoot starts poking out the top, and if you leave potatoes or sweet potatoes they grow long white roots out of little spots called eyes. Garlic, onions and potatoes will grow shoots and roots even faster if you leave them out in the sunlight (energy!) which is why it’s best to store these vegetables in a dark, cool place. If your garlic or onion does start to grow a shoot, you can plant it in soil and watch it grow.
When plants grow, there are parts that we can see and there are parts that we can’t. If you’ve planted a seed before, how did you feel while you were waiting for something to sprout up?
Did you know that while you were waiting and waiting, all kinds of things were starting to happen underground? What do you think was happening under there?
What do the roots of a plant do? They suck up nutrients and water to help the plant grow. In some vegetable plants, the roots suck up all that good stuff, and use it to help the plant above ground grow into something delicious to eat, but in some the roots grow themselves and become something delicious to eat.
- What kinds of things do you think are roots?
- Can you think of some that grow above the ground?
- When vegetables grow above ground, sometimes it’s the stalk that we eat, sometimes it’s the leaves, sometimes it’s the flower, and sometimes it’s the seeds
- Stalks are the part of a plant that are usually straight and tall. What vegetables do you think are the stalk?
- Which vegetables are leaves?
- Which ones do you think are flowers?
- Which ones are seeds?
No matter what part of the plant we eat, or whether it grows above ground or below ground, the roots are an important part of helping it to grow.
Equipment Beachball or another kind of soft ball (not a real soccer ball)
The playing area is one large rectangular with marked goals, the area could be established by using a tarp as the play area.
How to play:
- Divide campers into two teams with two goalies.
- Explain the crab position (both hands and feet touching the ground, with stomachs toward sky)
Added challenge: If the play is going well and campers have a handle on how to play, add an additional ball. In the same way, you could add additional goals. If you are playing on a tarp, turn this into a water game by spraying the surface with water.
- Plant a native garden, invite local Elders to share the importance of the plants and their medicinal properties.
- Visit a farm, community garden, farmers market, pick your own or a Canadian Foodgrains Bank Grow Hope Farm. Bring back some produce that the campers can use to make jam or pies.
Genesis 1:6-13 – Strengthening our connection to God and creation.
It is about creating a space within ourselves for God to be. Before you begin, have the children imagine a word, a sacred word. You can suggest examples like God, Jesus, Amen, Christ, Abba, grace, peace or love.
Close your eyes. You can put your hands over your eyes if you want to. Now take a deep breath in. When you breathe out, feel your body relaxing. Breathe in again and as you breathe out feel your feet and legs relaxing. You can shake them out if you need to. Let them sink into where they are resting. Breathe in again and as you breathe out feel your tummy and chest relaxing. Breathe in again and as you breathe out feel your arms, hands and shoulders relaxing. Breathe in again and allow your face and head to relax as you breathe out. If you want to, scrunch up your face and allow it to relax as you breathe out. We are going to take two more deep breaths in and as you breathe out feel your whole body relax.
Say your special word silently in your head. Notice how quiet you are. If you hear yourself saying something else in your head or your mind wanders, say your special word again silently. Then notice how quiet you are inside.
You don’t have to keep saying your word over and over again; just say it when you feel yourself thinking about other things. Use it to quiet yourself again.
Using a quiet voice say:
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. For God saw that the light was good, and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.
Imagine the light. The light can look like whatever you want it to. Imagine the light fitting into your heart. Feel your heart growing big and bright. You might feel your heart grow, or you might see the bright light surrounding all of your body. Feel how bright God’s creation is. As God brings you light allow your light to shine back to God.
If you start to think about other things use your special word to quiet your mind again. I will let you imagine the light for a bit on your own. (Pause)
You did a great job quieting your thoughts and letting God’s light in. Open your eyes whenever you are ready. After meditation questions:
- Did your sacred word help you become quiet inside?
- What did your light look like?
- How did it feel to know that God’s light was inside you?
- Do you feel like you are a part of God and God’s creation?
Mindfulness moment: Light Awareness
If possible do this exercise outside. It can be done anywhere from a parking lot to a park. Remind the children of the sacred word from the morning. Tell them that you are going to go outside and have an exciting light adventure. Notice the light. Notice how it reflects off of surfaces and illuminates different surfaces. Notice where the dark shadows are as well. Take a moment to close your eyes and turn your face to the sun. Feel the heat and the light on your face. Walk mindfully paying close attention to all of the light and dark. Make sure you walk in silence and use your special word to draw you back. Thank God for creating you and for the light.
Pass around the basket of stones.
Ask campers and volunteers where and how they experienced God today.
Once everyone has thought of something, invite them to bring their stone up to the altar and name out loud where and how they experienced God.
Once everyone has had an opportunity to answer, offer a prayer of thanksgiving for these times.