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Theme: Living Creatures

Registration and Sign in 

Gathering Activity 

Worship

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 – world map, instruments to lead and for campers to accompany with, music, projector, screen and computer. 

Gathering Songs 

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

Encounter 1

Genesis 1: 20-25  (in a translation you wish to use, reference the introduction for examples.)

Engage 

  • What is your favourite part of the story?
  • What do you think the first animal was?
  • What animal would you create?
  • How do you think the animals all lived together?
  • If God was only present to this world through animals, what animal would God be?
  • What do you think the Earth looked like?

Interpret 

Encourage the campers to retell the story through movement and words 

Song

Encounter 2

Cow 

Animals can help people in many ways, and all it takes is one animal and some time to grow for it to make a huge difference in the lives of poorer people. 

Let me tell you a true story about a woman named Safina who lives in Rwanda, Africa, with her husband and four children. She met one of our partner organizations, Partners in Health, when she went to the hospital with her 5 month-old son who wasn’t getting enough nutrients or food. At the hospital Partners in Health gave them milk with lots of nutrients, and continued to help feed the child as he grew. Once Safina left the hospital to go back home, Partners in Health gave her one goat. Since then the one goat has given birth to 12 other goats. These goats have helped Safina and her family a lot. Safina was able to sell three of the goats to help pay for some of the costs of living and things they need to make their house stable, strong and fit for four children. The goats also helped her grow better maize (what we call corn) because she was able to use their manure to feed the soil and help the plants grow. With more maize, they were able to sell more too, and save enough money to buy a cow. The cow has even better manure to help feed the plants, and the cow produces milk that the family can drink. Safina was also able to save enough money to buy a female duck that laid eggs two months later. Safina now has 16 ducks, helping to produce even more manure to help fertilize her plants. Now Safina and her husband can easily grow lots of bananas and maize to eat, and they even have enough
to take it to the market and sell their products to make more money. What started out as one goat for Safina’s family has turned into 12 goats, 1 cow, 16 ducks, more maize, more bananas and a good amount of money to raise four children without worrying about where their next meals will come from. 

Another example of how animals can help people is in Tanzania, Africa. PWRDF has been supporting the Diocese of Masasi for over 20 years. The program there helps in 21 villages, and provides calves, goats, chickens and other small animals to families. The nutrients from the milk of these animals helps children grow big and strong. Here, each animal is a gift of God, and when the animals have babies they encourage the owners to pass on the gift of God and give the baby animals to other families so that they can also have milk and all of the good things that come with raising an animal. This way of living and supporting each other in the community has helped the entire village to earn more money, and live a more comfortable life. One couple was given a cow. From the money they made from the milk of the cow the couple was able to do a lot of work on their house, building a floor, stronger walls, and even adding an electricity system, all from the milk of one cow. 

The last example we will hear about today is from a goat program in Malawi, Africa. In the Neno district, there are not a lot of real roads, and more than 160,000 people live very far away from a doctor or nurse or hospital. In these areas there are people called community health workers (CHWs) who take care of the local people when they are sick or having health problems since the hospital is so far away. They don’t get paid enough money to live comfortably, so sometimes they need to do other work and then they cannot take care of the community as well. PWRDF started a program where they are giving CHWs a breeding goat. This gives the health workers another way to make money and to make sure they have enough food to eat, giving them more time to spend helping their communities with their health. This means that not only do the health workers benefit from the goats, but the whole community benefits too because they will have better access to safe and proper health care. 

Through local programs like these, animals help give families a good source of nutritious food and more products to sell. This helps to feed people and to make sure they know where their next meal is coming from, all year long. By giving just one animal to a family, they can easily become more food secure, meaning they have food to feed their family when they need it. Which in turn, helps them live healthy and happy lives. 

Engage

  • Can you find Rwanda, Tanzania and Malawi on a map?
  • Which story was your favourite?
  • If you could give one of these animals to someone, which would you give?
  • If you could have one of these animals, which one would you like to raise?
  • Let me hear your best animal sounds!

Prayer

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 everyone 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. 

Loving God, let our actions be a reflection of your love for us and the whole of creation, thank you for all of the living creatures, the ones that fly, the ones that swim, the ones that run, the ones that crawl, the ones I love and even the ones I am not sure of. Thank you for the love, joy and comfort that they bring and give to us. 

We pray that our thoughts and actions are filled with love and compassion and that in our time together today we encounter you. Amen 

Today, as we go about all of our camp activities, pay attention to where you see the living creatures and remember that God has and is creating these things, the spider, the centipede, the bird, the cat, the butterfly and the bees. As you notice them, what do you think God is saying to you? 

Song – It’s a Song of Praise to the Maker, by Ruth Duck and Ron Klusmeier 

It’s a song of praise to the Maker, the thrush sings high in the tree.
It’s a song of praise to the Maker, the gray whale sings in the sea,
And by the Spirit you and I can join our voice to the holy cry
And sing, sing, sing to the Maker too.  
It’s a call of life to the Giver when waves and waterfalls roar.
It’s a call of life to the Giver when high tides break on the shore,
And by the Spirit…  
It’s a hymn of love to the Lover; the bumblebees hum along.
It’s a hymn of love to the Lover, the summer breeze joins the song,
And by the Spirit…  
It’s the chorus of all creation; it’s sung by all living things.
It’s the chorus of all creation; a song the universe sings,
And by the spirit…

Words: Ruth Duck, © 1994 GIA Publications.; All rights reserved
Music: Ron Klusmeier © 1992 Hope Publishing Company.; All rights reserved.
Reprinted under ONE LICENSE #A-735670

Game

Exploratory Art 

Recycling Craft

Materials

  • Clean recyclables 
  • Hot glue 
  • String 
  • Scissors 
  • Other types of fasteners 
  • Scissors 

Directions

Set up the recyclables for the campers to pick through and select what they are going to use in their creations. This is also an opportunity to use up some excess craft supplies that you may have. Allow campers to explore the materials and the possibilities.
There are an abundance of examples on Pinterest.

Hand Warmer 

Materials 

  • Old sweaters and scraps of material
  • Old infant mittens
  • Scissors
  • Larger needles
  • Thread
  • Rice or flaxseed
  • Lavender

Directions 

Sewing is not something many children have done; this is a good gentle exercise to introduce the skill with a great attainable outcome. Allow campers to explore the materials that are available and to think about the shape they would like to make.

Exploratory Science 

  • Baking 
  • Jam Making
  • Relish Making or Pickling
  • Carrot top pesto

So many church communities have amazing bakers, cooks and preserve makers and these skills are often used for fundraising. This is an opportunity to engage young people in developing life skills and the pride of making something that tastes delicious! 

Identify a team of folk from your parish who can teach and guide the campers through making something to eat from start to finish. We can talk about it, we can read about it, we can watch documentaries about it but nothing beats visiting the source of where our food comes from and the farmers who grow our food. This is how we learn best, through experiential, tactile engagement.

When you’re baking or cooking with your campers, take the time to go through each ingredient. Where does this ingredient grow? What part of the plant does this ingredient come from? Was it processed to end up in its current form? Is this something that you could grow in your backyard or does it come from a big farm or maybe even from across the world?
In addition to learning about the ingredients, explore what each ingredient does: Is it making your dish sweet or salty? Does it react with another ingredient? What do you think this dish would be like without this ingredient? Could you replace this ingredient with something else? Maybe something you could grow in your garden?

This is how we learn best, through experiential, tactile engagement.  

When you’re baking or cooking with your campers, take the time to go through each ingredient. Where does this ingredient grow? What part of the plant does this ingredient come from? Was it processed to end up in its current form? Is this something that you could grow in your backyard or does it come from a big farm or maybe even from across the world?

In addition to learning about the ingredients, explore what each ingredient does: Is it making your dish sweet or salty? Does it react with another ingredient? What do you think this dish would be like without this ingredient? Could you replace this ingredient with something else? Maybe something you could grow in your garden?

Exploratory Play

Pollinator Relay / Butterflies and Bumblebees 

Objective: To work together as a team to collect seeds and bring them back to the home base. 

Equipment: Cup with strings attached (enough strings for each camper), if you have a large group and you do the added challenge (see below) you could make extra cups, popcorn or water & bucket x2. 

At right is what the cup will look like, you can punch the holes using a single hole hole punch, tie the string over the lip of the cup. The string should be at least two feet long. 

Set up: Establish the playing area, place the receiving bucket at one end and place the pollen bucket at the other. 

How to play: 

  1. Divide campers into two teams, Butterflies and Bumblebees.
  2. When play starts set a timer for 15 minutes.
  3. Explain to campers that their job is to collect the pollen from
    the bucket/s and bring it back to their home base.
  4. Using the cup, each camper holds on to one strand of string.
  5. The teams work together to collect pollen from the pollen
    bucket and when they have some pollen in their cup they race back to put it in their receiving bucket.
  6. The game continues until the pollen is collected
    or time runs out!

Added challenge:

Have the pollen in different locations spread out over a larger playing area (see right), add obstacles: flyswat (pool noodle tap on legs), bug spray (water)

Encounter 3 

  • Bee Keeper 
  • Animal Conservation /Rehabilitation / Sanctuary 

Closing Meditation 

Genesis 1:20-25 – Travelling with God’s Creation

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 you 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.

Today we are going to travel. Imagine a way to travel. It can be a car, a boat, an air balloon, anything that you can imagine. Climb into the vehicle. Once inside, you might see different buttons, controls and lights. Notice what it is like to be inside. There is a switch that turns your vehicle on. Turn it on.
Your vehicle is ready to take you anywhere that you want to go. Imagine a part of God’s creation that you have always wanted to visit. A place with lots of animals, birds or fish. Push the button to take you to your destination. Feel the vehicle switch into gear. It might make loud noises or shake a bit. Relax and enjoy the ride.

Once the vehicle stops, go ahead and open the door to this place. First notice the ground. What does it feel like under your feet? Look at your feet. What kind of shoes do you have on or maybe you aren’t wearing any shoes at all? Take a look at your surroundings. Are there lots of trees or plants? Is there lots of water? Is it warm or cold? Feel the temperature on your skin. What do you hear? Are there any noises that you recognize? What kind of animals or birds are around you? Feel free to walk around the area looking at all of the animals, birds or fish. Have you been here before or is this the first time you are seeing some of these creatures up close? You can get right up close to the creatures. You can touch them. What do they feel like? Are they soft, hard, cold or warm? Are they cute, furry or are they a bit scary? You don’t have to worry because you are safe. Feel free to run with, swim with, fly with or just experience the animals. I am going to let you explore this place. (Pause) 

When you feel you have finished your exploration, go back to your vehicle and get inside. Turn it on and set the dial to bring you back home. Sit back and enjoy the ride. When you return, get out. Now thank God for all of the creatures you have seen on your travels. (Pause) 

When you return, get out. Now thank God for all of the creatures you have seen on your travels. (Pause) 

You can open your eyes whenever you want.

After Meditation questions:

  1. What did you see?
  2. What was your favourite creature that you saw?
  3. What did it feel like to be close to these different creatures that God has created?

Mindfulness moment: God’s Creation

If it is possible, have a phone with different sounds of birds, animals, whales, all types of God’s creatures. Ask the children to find a place to sit or lie down, somewhere they feel comfortable. Ask them to close their eyes, or use their hands to cover their eyes, and spend a few moments taking in deep breaths. Play the different sounds for them asking them simply to use their hearing and inner imagination to connect to the beings they are hearing. Spend a few minutes doing this. As you finish give thanks for the animals and birds that inhabit our Earth. 

Prayer

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.