Do You Remember? – Moments from K/1 Camp
By Kate Berkey - June 28, 2018
Posted in Children's Ministry, Summer Camps, Stories from NMC
Do you remember when sitting still for any extended amount of time was the most difficult thing anyone could ask of you? Do you remember what it was like to become so wrapped up in a story that you shouted out answers to rhetorical questions? Do you remember what it felt like to have excitement bubble up in you so deeply and so strongly that your entire being felt like it might burst?
Do you remember what it was like to be a kid?
Just a few days ago, nearly 100 kindergartners and first graders gathered at NMC for K/1 camp, a one-day event spread across NMC. Some kids looked a little nervous when they walked through our doors, holding tightly to their moms’ hands. Most, though, were excited, looking for their friends in the crowd of kids.
If you have a kindergartner or first grader in your life, you most likely know the state they find themselves in when they are too excited for their own good. Just imagine this state times 100, and you will get a sense of the energy in the room. Giggling. Jumping up and down. Talking too fast to understand. Sometimes it can be difficult to remember what it was like to be a kindergartner or a first grader, so in case those years escape your memory, let me help you out.
Do you remember what it was like to be unable to contain the anticipation that spread throughout your entire body? It seemed like this was the constant state of our kids at K/1 camp. From worship to story time to “Quest” stations to games and activities, our kids lived with this deep excitement all day. They bounced on their knees as they sat. They threw their arms in the air, waving them around whenever Miss Jen or Miss Naldia asked a question. They randomly shouted out answers to rhetorical questions or added commentary to Miss Jen’s story. It wasn’t that the room was in a state of out-of-control chaos. It was simply a room filled to overflowing with the deepest kind of anticipation for the quest they were on.
Do you remember what it was like to look up to a leader? K/1 camp had some of the best leaders around. High school and college students, moms and dads, and grandma and grandpas gave up their day to spend time with our kids. These leaders poured everything they had into the kids and their camp experience, and because of that, our kids didn’t just hear about the love of Jesus. They saw it in action. Groups marched through the Grand Hall, our kiddos looking up at their leaders with silly grins. They held leaders’ hands and sat comfortably in their laps during story time. Our leaders dove into worship with their entire bodies, and the kids followed suit. Some of the very best men and women from NMC invested in them during camp, and our kids are better for it.
Do you remember what it was like to be silly and carefree? These days may seem like distant, distant memories. So often, life’s pressures and challenges can get the better of us, snuffing out our silly side, our carefree nature. But these kindergartners and first graders embraced the silly and the whimsical in every part of the day. They danced hard during worship, limbs flailing about. They travelled through stations to earn their hero badges, laughing with friends. They bounced up and down in the bouncy houses, raced through a relay, and threw balls at each other that were soaked in water. They marched through the Grand Hall with their group and chanted their team’s color so loud that it echoed from one end to the other. Their joy was contagious, their whimsy infectious. Their actions brought to mind the moments when Jesus brought kids to Himself, pointing them out as examples for us to follow—whimsy and all.
Do you remember becoming so wrapped up in a story that you audibly gasped at the revelation of a shocking plot twist? Our kids heard a story abouta knight who went on a Quest to learn what it meant to be a real hero. They learned that real heroes are courageous, truth-tellers, joyful, obedient, and selfless. As they heard the story of the knight and learned about his character traits, they listened with intense focus and participated in the story whether Miss Jen asked them to or not. They gasped and laughed and felt excitement with our hero as he earned his badges. They didn’t just hear the story. They were in the story, journeying along as they learned what it meant to be God’s hero.
We are so grateful for the amount of time, energy, and resources our KidMin staff and volunteers poured into K/1 camp. Because of their investment, kindergartners and first graders had the chance to learn what it means to be God’s hero. They had the chance to learn about stories we find in Scripture. They had the chance to be poured into by leaders. They had a chance to worship and pray with other kids. They had the chance to see the love of Jesus in words and actions, and for that, we are so grateful.
Thank you to those who prayed for our kindergartners and first graders while they were at camp. Your prayers had a significant impact on the work God did in kids’ lives. Join us as we continue to pray for our campers this summer.
- 4/5 Camp: July 6-8
- MSM Camp: July 9-12
- HSM Camp: July 13-17