Finally, summer has arrived at the Murphy household.
Last week was our annual Bible Camp at SVF, and--once again--I was in charge of the snack session. It always proves to be a blessing heading up that post, but it definitely comes with lots of planning, time, grocery trips (thanks, Jimmy:), and for a short-fused gal like me...there was some added stress planning a menu for ninety kids, even with the Holy Spirit behind me!
Madi was in a group with lots of her besties. It was a great week for her. And Charlie...he was a champ! He was in the playroom all week, from 8:30 to 12:00. I was fearful that after day one, he would stage a protest, but no...it was quite clear that he was all in, and he enjoyed every day!
I am sad to say that, because I was totally preoccupied with the whole shebang, I neglected to take one single picture of the kids. Bad Mama.
This year's theme was about Service. I was a bit late with menu planning this year due to the end of school activities, but with the help of my trusty and creative Christian sister, Carrie, we sat down one afternoon and came up with a much better plan than the "Bible Camp in a box" had provided, so I thought I'd share our little snack ideas, in case any of y'all want to incorporate these messages some way, somehow into your summer fun.
Monday - Serve Family
We used a waffle cone as a basket to represent our families which hold us, protect us, and unite us. We filled them with a portable yogurt to represent our faith which binds us together and sustains us. And we added pieces of fruit (strawberries, grapes, blueberries, bananas) to represent the different members of our families.
Tuesday - Serve Friends
The kids walked through a buffet-style line with a partner (friend) and made their plate for them. It was a creative way to get the kids to get to know each other and to truly serve their friends! The buffet was filled with various snack items including chocolate goldfish (sweet), Chex mix (salty), cheese cubes (cheesy), orange slices and grapes (fruity), carrots (crunchy), raisins and Fig Newtons (chewy), popcorn (fluffy), and pickles (sour).
Wednesday - Serve Neighbors
We talked about how neighbors, in the Biblical sense, are not necessarily the people who live next door. A neighbor could be the mailman, or a homeless person, or an unknown kid at school, and while people may appear funny looking to us or different on the outside, they may be really beautiful on the inside. We drew a parallel with fruits that God made using a pineapple, a kiwi, and a lychee nut, and I asked the kids to step out of their comfort zone, as if they were meeting a new neighbor, and to try something new that they hadn't tried before. We gave them a variety of fruits to choose from, and they placed them on a bamboo skewer to represent God's love running through us as neighbors (raspberries, pineapple, kiwi, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, dates and lychee fruit). I was pleasantly surprised at how many of the kids did, indeed, step out of their comfort zone and tried new things!
Thursday - Serve Community
The Bible story was Zacchaeus from Luke 19:1-10, so we chose to use examples of "transformation" and change of heart. We used a dry noodle as an example to show something that is, in one form, very hard, dry, and brittle. But when soaked in water, the noodle transforms into something soft, pliable, and good--just like humans when they have Jesus in their hearts! So, the kids enjoyed bowls of pasta for their snack. In addition, in keeping with the "community" theme, I talked about how one chocolate morsel is good, right? But when put one morsel together with lots of other chocolate morsels in cookie dough, it transforms into something much, much better. This was my "Plan B" from making banana bread out of rotten, mushy bananas. I had no idea that it was virtually impossible to find a loaf of banana bread at this time of year in Florida, and I needed ten of them. The cookies were a much easier choice!
Friday - Serve Jesus
We focused on the Holy Spirit for the lesson, and the snack. We discussed praying for the Holy Spirit's guidance, and I shared a prayer that someone had once given to me, "Light a fire in my heart with the kindle of your love." The kids built an "edible fire pit"--pretty much a soft taco--using a tortilla as the base with turkey meat, lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, red peppers, and salsa as the kindle for their fires. They got the message, but Friday was kinda chaotic after a full week of Bible Camp. Yeah...I pretty much just stopped talking and let them eat!