Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Camp

What should the camping experience be like for our youth today? It's an interesting question because around the world the answers are varied. In some countries it seems the Church sponsored camps are still gender divided, so the issue of two piece bathing suits or sneaking out of cabins isn't a problem. The relics are plentiful in other places and the miracle stories are around every corner. What about where you live?

If you're involved in camping or retreat experiences, here's a link to the Pan-Orthodox Summer Camp Association website dedicated to sharing resources, activities, games etc that might come in handy for Orthodox Vacation Bible School Programs, for example, on the local or district level.

All in all, I'm a product of Orthodox Camping programs...and although they couldn't safeguard me from sins in my youth, I think God still worked through those experiences to nurture my faith and set aflame a desire to learn more. But I'd more conservatively say that today, I have tougher expectations from a camp. First and foremost, it must be a holy experience. What ranks important to you?

I've found that some camps do the "spirituality" better than others, so investigate before sending off your kids...and if you are looking for referrals, let's chat.

Don't forget to visit the Children's Corner at Potamitis Publishing online for excellent printable activities to enhance your summer learning. All of the above images are wonderful samples of what you can find there. Our SCRIBD Orthodox Education group online also has a Camp Song Book to get you started as well as other lessons to download for free.

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