Rockwood Church’s Adventurer Club leader Emiley Kelley came up with a creative way to take her club camping during the spring without hassling with unpredictable weather. Instead of heading to the woods or the beach, the Rockwood club had a family “camp-in,” held in the church’s fellowship hall.
The overnight event began immediately after church potluck on Sabbath afternoon. Kelley had created a field guide for each Adventurer that included activities and crafts covering a range of Adventurer awards like geology, life cycles and constellations.
Pathfinders and TLTs helped teach the awards, and the afternoon included a nature scavenger hunt. “We hunted for a frog, a butterfly and a rose,” says Emery Rogers, one of the Adventurers. “Each team had a different thing to find. I really enjoyed it because we were learning about God through nature.”
Just before suppertime, the kids layered flour, sugar, yeast, water, oil and salt in a zippered bag to represent geological layers. Once this “bread in a bag” was mixed, the kids kneaded and baked their bread to share with their families along with a soup supper.
Camping doesn’t feel complete without a campfire, so Kelley had some teen Pathfinders arrange rocks in a ring then layer orange and yellow mesh over a light to create the feel of a campfire. The teens led worship songs, and the group shared stories and prayer time around the pretend fire.
Then everyone turned their attention to oven-baked s’mores before tucking into bed in their family’s tent, which was set up in the fellowship hall as well. “My favorite thing was eating s’mores and making bread,” says Katherine Struntz, one of the Rockwood Adventurers.
Sunday morning began bright and early with a visit from Matt Burnett, an Adventurer parent who helped the kids make homemade cinnamon rolls to go with their oatmeal breakfast. While the rolls rose and baked, the Adventurers did some more work on their awards.
With Easter just a week away, the final worship around the “campfire” took the kids through the events of Passover Week and the crucifixion. Then it was time to pack up and head home.
“I really enjoyed putting this together. It was a lot of preparation, but the end result was an unforgettable experience,” says Kelley. “And there were no unwanted bugs or dirt in our food."