Our church doesn't have your typical annual VBS (anyone who knows Matt isn't surprised to hear this). Instead we have a week-long day camp for 3 year olds to 5th graders called Smash Camp. It's technically three camps going on at the same time, we just share an opening session, lunch time, and closing session. This year our three camps were a soccer skills camp, a science learning camp, and a preschool camp. We had 172 kids and almost half of them were preschoolers. Yikes.

Last year I volunteered with the preschoolers thinking it wouldn't be much different than my regular life, just a few more kids and at church instead of home. I was wrong. What I learned is that Smash Camp is a great opportunity for me to have a break from my regular life. So this year I volunteered with the 2nd & 3rd graders. Since I help with the 2nd grade girls on Sundays, I thought it'd be fun to hang out with some of my girls this week. I was right.

Last week was one of the most enjoyable church camp experiences I've ever had. A little history for those who may not know: in my pre-mommy days I was an event coordinator for a children's ministry. Meaning, planning church camps was my life for several years. Although I enjoyed that immensely, it was a LOT of work and a LOT of pressure. We as a staff always worked hard so our volunteers could enjoy their camp experience with the kids and focus on building relationships instead of logistics. My experience this week was testimony that this hard work pays off.

This week I got to know a girl who was visiting a friend from out of state. During the week, her grandfather died. She came and told me about it, and we were able to pray, hug, and cry together. I was so honored that she shared that time with me.

This week I taught a boy some of the basics of prayer. I noticed that every time we prayed, this kid didn't bow his head, didn't close his eyes, did none of the things we do to show respect. At one point I even had to scold him for burping during prayers. (BTW, I'm adding that to the things I never expected to say list: "It is disrespectful to God for us to make burping noises while we pray. If I hear it again you will be in big trouble.") So I asked him about it and learned that he wasn't a regular at church and didn't know much about prayer. How awesome to be able to teach a kid how to pray!

And this week I learned about science with the kids. We had a large group time when the scientists did demonstration experiments that were really cool. We shot rockets, filled a room with evaporating dry ice, froze stuff in liquid nitrogen, and played with electricity. Nothing but good clean fun here! On the last day the scientists brought in a static ball (honestly, I was tired by the last day and didn't catch a lot of the scientific details from this demonstration). At one point she called me on stage to help. This pic shows what happened when I touched the static ball.

As you can imagine, the kids thought this was hilarious and wanted to see more volunteers. So she called Matt on stage. Here's what he looked like.

The funniest part of his hair-raising experience was his legs. Check this out! (You may have to click on the pic to get the full effect.)

All in all, I had a great time at Smash Camp. Even though I volunteered thinking I'd hang out with my girls, I actually spent more time hanging with the boys. I loved watching the way they interacted and anticipating the way Patriot and Azlan will be when they're older. I think I have a lot to look forward to!

On a "proud parent" note: This was the first year Patriot was old enough to actually attend camp. Here he is posing in his room. How cute is he?

1 Response
  1. Jan Says:

    He is getting so big!! It just blows my mind.

    Glad you had a good week. It's different as a volunteer, isn't it?