From toddlers to grandparents, participants of all ages enjoyed the energy of Saturday night’s hands-on activities, co-sponsored by the Annual Conference Programs and Arrangements Committee and the Outdoor Ministries Association.
Children–with their parents–tossed balls, created small lanterns, traced their footprints, and tried indoor fishing, to the lively sounds of camp songs.
Linetta and Joel Ballew, co-administrators of Pennsylvania’s Camp Swatara, planned the 14 activity stations. The event focus, “Get Real: Living as Courageous Disciples!” combined the Conference theme with the main emphasis of the InsideOut curriculum used by many Church of the Brethren camps this year.
At the “Hear My Voice” station, for example, children wearing blindfolds maneuvered around obstacles by listening to a partner’s instructions. “That was really hard!” one participant commented, gaining a new understanding of the challenges faced by Steve Irwin, a courageous–and blind–Christian who hiked the Appalachian Trail.
Favorite activities for Samantha Farley from Fort Wayne, Ind., included “Facing the Giants,” a ball toss, and the Fiery Furnace Lanterns.
Kamryn Huffaker from McCune, Kan., enjoyed Eric Landram’s dramatic portrayal of the Apostle Paul in prison. Her mother, Laura Huffaker, said, “The great thing is having something for kids of all age groups together.”
Carla Kilgore, from Fort Wayne, Indiana, described the event as “very festive” and “a fun closing activity for kids.”
Parents mentioned that older children understood the emphasis on being courageous followers of Jesus, while the youngest ones simply had fun. Linetta Ballew estimated that at least 100 people, including Annual Conference moderator Nancy Sollenberger Heishman, participated in the activities.
Keith Hollenberg, a guitar player for the evening, summarized, “It was a blast!”
–Jan Fischer Bachman provided this report.