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Archive for the ‘Royal Family Kids Camps’ Category

Here’s what I’m working on right now:

Concepts 21 Kids Club (see Square Peg Ministries tab above)- this is the last week of Superbook Olympics. We’ve been studying the book of Mark. We’re only going to finish through Chapter 5. However, we did learn a lot of Bible stories and where to find them. Most importantly, we learned how kids can tap into the same Jesus of the Bible stories to help in their own everyday lives. Tomorrow, we’re going to end this season with ice cream sundaes. Yum!

Royal Family Kids Camp– the three of us who are starting the Cherokee County camp next summer are e-mailing back and forth with follow-up details from our meeting last week. We’re working towards an Open House/Informational Reception next month for folks we hope will be interested in joining this ministry next year.

M&M Puppeteers’ 20th Anniversary Reunion/Performance: It’s hard to believe we’ve been in ministry for 20 years- but we’ve got the videos and the hairstyles to prove it! We’re planning to do an anniversary performance at the Atlanta Puppet Festival next month. Sooo, we’ve been meeting and planning for two weeks already. Working practices begin next Tuesday. Seven more weeks to go!! We’ve identified approximately 75+ people who have served on the puppet team through the years!

N. GA Church of God Children’s Leaders’ Committee: Since I fulfilled my 12 years of service on the national team, the local group asked me to join them to help put on the annual North Georgia conference. I am helping find and contact exhibitors for the conference. We’re beginning to get some response. However, the event is only 5 weeks away- so we’re hoping and praying for the best.

Atlanta Puppet Festival: I mentioned the M&M Puppeteers performance- but on top of that, there’s an entire festival to put together! We’re expecting 700 people. This year we’re hosting it at Crabapple First Baptist Church. The festival is an exciting ministry training event- but it’s a lot of work. However, the benefits of rubbing shoulders with like-minded people and the resources we receive make it worth the effort.

Square Peg Ministries: putting together an effective board to help govern the direction of the ministry. ‘Nuf said on that one. Getting out our newsletter with details about fall: school-year Kids Club format begins, middle school Bible Study and activities, we’re starting a new Hispanic puppet team, Homework Help/Tutoring begins after Labor Day, Open House/Sign Ups for our ministry programs. Getting our Compassion In Action project together. It’s a bunch of stuff to think about and do!

Summerfest/Mobile, AL: I’ll be teaching at this one day ministry training event. However, I’m driving to it- so it becomes at least a two day event. And I’ve got to prepare my workshops pretty soon. It’s next week!

Camp Rocks (see tab above): I know it’s done, but I’ve still got thank yous to get out. No small task!

Trying to keep up a blog: mixed results! Yikes!!!

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The Foster Child’s Psalm       

Psalm 40:1-3  

                                                        

I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.                                       He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.
He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see what he has done and be amazed.
They will put their trust in the Lord.

 

I have had a limited involement with RFKC through the years. I was on their curriculum committe for 4 years; helping to revise, edit and write materials for their camping ministry; was a guest speaker twice at my friend Lance’s E. TN camp and did a Birthday Box project for them one year.

Little did I know how moving this past week of training and camp observation would be for me.

A RFKC is made up of campers referred by Social Workers in the local Health and Human Services department (DFACS for those of us who live in Georgia.) Specifically, eligible kids are abused/neglected children “in the system.” The nurses at camp told us during training, that most, if not all the kids are on mental health/psychiatric drugs for anxiety, depression, ADD, ADHD, sleeplessness and/or bed-wetting. One of the nurses said some of the kids are on such powerful does, that if she, an adult took as much, she doesn’t know how she would even be able to function- much less a little 7-11 year old such as the RFKC campers.

All of the children I observed were from group foster homes or traditional foster families. Two of the kids were in foster homes in which the parents were trying to adopt them. One little girl had been in five different foster situations since camp last summer. All of them have been taken away from their biological parents because of some level of abuse.

Yet, to look at them, especially as the week went on- it seemed for the most part, like just a normal group of kids having fun at summer camp. Kids can be very resilient!

The distinctive of RFKC is they are “in business” to create positive memories for abused and neglected kids. And that they do very well- in a Chrisitian, biblical setting. Here are some of the special ways in which they create memories:

Everybody’s Birthday party  Many foster kids miss out on regular childhood markers such as birthday parties and gifts. One supper at camp each year is a decorated birthday party meal, complete with cake and candles. This year, following supper, there was a birthday carnival complete with an inflatable slide and climbing tower. That night as the kids settled in, each child found a birthday box full of gifts on their bed.

~The Variety Show    Most foster kids never get an opportunity for lessons, involvement in enrichment opportunities or sports. They don’t have “talents.” At camp, however, counselors work with the kids to create fun talents. We saw kids do puppet shows, magic tricks, sign language, tumbling, “marching” and singing a created song as counselors and staff wildly cheered and aplauded. The kids felt like stars!

The Girls’ Tea Party was so much fun- and included lots more than just tea. All afternoon the girls had gotten their hair fixed, nail polish for nails and dressed up in cut-down prom dresses and princess costumes. At the tea, they were escorted in by one of the male staff, dressed in a suit, as their entrance was announced. They also had their picture taken with their “escort.” In the meantime, the boys were meeting with a university soccer coach, running drills and having fun. They were given a university soccer jersey as well.

Graduation ceremony and gifts; a CD player and CDs of the praise and worship we had sung all week, pom-poms for the girls, soccer balls for the boys, photo albums featuring each camper, a duffle bag and a special storybook chosen for them by the founders of RFKC, Wayne and Diane Tesch…and all the 11 year olds who cannot come back to camp because of age receive roller skates, helmets and pads.

The nurture and physical attention given to these campers will go a long, long way toward achieving the goal of creating positive memories in the hearts of these children. I can’t wait until we get started on our own Cherokee County version next year. Watch for a new tab above, once we have set a definite date.

 

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