This summer, Christ Church Cathedral, in collaboration with St. Anselm’s Anglican Church hosted a summer day camp for kids from across the lower mainland called Aspire Bible Camp. The camp was open to children aged 5-11. We had 26 children who came to learn, explore and create.
This was the first regional day camp of it's kind offered in the Diocese for many years. This new approach to the vacation bible school aims to bring a high-quality summer day camp experience to children from parishes across the lower mainland. The collaborative model takes the pressure off smaller parishes attempting such an undertaking, whilst providing high-quality, sustainable and safe child care for children in the summer months.
The camp was based out of the Synod Office and St. Johns Shaughnessy. We worshiped and had our morning story in the Sanctuary and made use of the Sunday School in the basement. The room was set up with various workstations, including a cozy reading nook, a play area with trains and blocks, and a mural wall. Snacks and quiet time were enjoyed in the Trendell lounge at the Synod office. We made good use of the covered walkways with craft tables, sidewalk chalk and other curriculum-based activities. The green space between the Synod Office and St. John’s church made an excellent play space that became competitive parachute tents, a huge tarp ocean, bug observatory and a huge slip and slide.
Monday, the first day of the camp, kicked off with the story of Creation. The story was followed by space-themed activities such as Galaxy canvas prints and soothing glitter calm jars for moments of relaxation. We also made super nova-style tie dye and managed to avoid too many spills!
On Tuesday the focus shifted to land and plants. Francis Hart D'Emilio from Salal and Cedar led one of the curriculum boxes on trees. We then headed to the park to make Cyanotypes. The result was stunning blue artwork made from plant leaves. We also collected leaves and twigs to make a bug hotel. After lunch, we made terrariums and enjoyed exploring the plants and bugs in the garden.
Wednesday our theme was animals, and we explored Noah's Ark through games and activities. The children created birdhouses and we had a quiet afternoon with a movie and snacks.
Thursday was our water day. It featured a Godly Play story of Jonah and the Whale. We also enjoyed underwater themed parachute games and crafted underwater blue slime. In the afternoon we had lots of fun with water games, relay races, slip and slide, and even popsicles. Everyone got very wet, but we dried quickly in the sun.
Finally, on Friday, we focused on humans and caring for the world. We learned from the Goldy Play story "Great Family" about interconnectedness. We took polaroid photos of the children, which were then used to create cards to be sent to people we love. Then after lunch, we had a dance party with music, games, ice cream and as a special treat, a piñata which the older children had been working on. The younger children took much glee in then destroying said piñata and enjoying the treats within.
Throughout the week, various people helped us with the daily stories and activities: Rob James, Karin Fulcher, Maggie Sanders, Cristalle Watson, Susan Koppersmith, Francis Hart D'Emilio, and our staff, Allegra Calabrigo, Niel Jongbloed, Lynn Choi, Jay Walton and Brianna Parlongo. We would also like to thank Rev. Terry Dirbas, Elias Neto, Reagan Gorman, Shailene Caparas, Tellison Glover and Rev. Jessica Schaap for their logistical support on-site. Everyone’s support helped make the camp a tremendous success. As we bid farewell to this year's Aspire Bible Camp, we eagerly anticipate even more adventures and discoveries next year!
With thanks for Photos from: Lauren Odile Pinkney, Rev. Alex Wilson, Allegra Calabrigo, Lynn Choi and Michael Dirk.