We look forward to Catholic Kids Camp, our parish's version of VBS, all year long.
Because Buddy Bear and J-Bear are not quite old enough to attend on their own, I volunteered to host mini-kids camp with a friend for all the 4 and under campers of the parent volunteers. We attracted a large crowd this year, humbled by the vote of confidence from so many great volunteer parents. Buddy Bear and J-Bear loved every minute of the week, from the great crafts, circle time, stories, games, outdoor play and snacks.
We certainly couldn't have made it through the week without several wonderful teen volunteers who were eager to shower attention on our young crew. With 8-10 kids ages 9 months to 5 years old, there are many hands (or bodies) to hold, bathroom times and diaper changes to juggle, and varying ability levels to manage. Thankfully, my friend, Mrs. N, had secured a wonderful large room for us, brought boxes of miniature toys and Magnetiles to play with, and planned perfect snacks.
Our crafts were simple but engaging and didn't require too much help from the adults. We made "One God" hand cut-outs for our day celebrating God the Father, decorated Jesus Loves You crosses for our day celebrating God the Son, and taped together Holy Spirit dove kites for our day celebrating God the Holy Spirit. We also had a coloring page to go with each day. G-Bear was so impressed with the crafts her little brother and sister were bringing home each day that she said, "do you have any extras for me and E-Bear to do? We only get to do ONE craft each day." Boy, was I thrilled to garner G-Bear and E-Bear's admiration! Buddy Bear and J-Bear were also so proud to show their big sibs their hard work at the end of each day.
Each afternoon, during J-Bear's nap, the big kids would hole up in their room with their CKC music CD and practice their songs and hand motions for the week (while I collapsed in an exhausted heap). The music and dancing are some of my favorite parts of the CKC week, because they stay with us for so long afterwards. Even J-Bear knows the songs and motions by the end of the week and loves to sing them with her siblings.
The week is always exhausting, but it is one hundred percent worth it once Friday comes around and I get to watch my kids and their friends sing and dance together in the love and joy of the Lord. We were some of the last to leave the fellowship hall at the end of the performance morning, having stayed to talk and connect with so many friends. I am overwhelmed with gratefulness for the community we have found here and the friends we have all made.