Bible Camp 2013 preaches community spirit

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camp2 The Green Frogs, a group of third- and fourth-graders, play the parachute game with their counselors. Charlie Pritchard EGG HARBOR CITY – Pastor Jeanie Manson was ecstatic when she related the number of children that participated in God’s Backyard Bible Camp under the Sun.

“We had hoped for 15 and ended up with 42 kids,” she gushed.

For the first time, the camp was a joint venture of St. John’s United Church of Christ and The Moravian Church of Egg Harbor City and took place at the former site from July 21- 25.

“One of the goals of the camp is to get the children to understand responsibility in the community,” Manson added. “We did not charge a fee, but we passed around a collection plate each evening that benefited various organizations.”

Among the groups that will benefit from the collections are Family Promise, The Food Pantry, Sister Jean’s Kitchen, Bridge of Faith and Holy Joe’s Café. The organizations matched the themes for each evening: family, friends, neighbors, community and serving Jesus.

Among the activities in which the children participated were arts and crafts, games, music and movement and Bible stories. The children were divided into three groups: the third and fourth graders were the Green Frogs; first and second graders were the Red Ladybugs; and the three and four year olds and kindergarteners were the Orange Caterpillars.

Carole Bounds from the Moravian Church co-organized the camp with Manson. “By combining our programs, we were able to pool resources,” she said. “It’s also great that we have many parents staying and helping.”

A closing celebration was held on Thursday, July 25, the camp’s final day. Each group sang a song and they all gathered together to close the camp by singing “Go Serve Our World” and “My Life for You”. Each camper then received a certificate and an autographed photo of the camp’s mascot, Bandit the Raccoon.

camp1 Vito Luciano, 9 of Mullica Township, leads Connor Hughes, 8, from Absecon through the obstacle course. Charlie Pritchard

camp 3 The Green Frogs, front row from left are Vito Luciano, 9; Dylan Williamson, 9, and Logan Roesch, 8. In the rear are Andrew Nell, 9; Connor Hughes, 8, and Logan Williamson, 9, singing “Shine and Serve” at the closing celebration.

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