Dozens of children created the unique patchwork quilt of Community Lutheran Church’s annual summer camp in July. Local kids from all walks of life enjoyed two weeks of Frankford day-camp with the visiting teen counselors of Mar-Lu-Ridge camp, located in the mountains of Frederick County, Md.
“It’s an outreach to the community to teach children about Jesus and God,” said co-organizer Lonnie Riley. “Some are members, some are not, so it’s a community affair.”
“The kids are great,” said Arthur Mutijima, 18, who just became a counselor this year, “I love nature … just being able to sing songs and be really silly and wear wacky clothes.”
“It’s good to hear the kids laughing,” Riley said.
“When you see how much they learn through the week, it’s amazing,” said co-organizer Mary Ellen Engler.
One morning the children were asked, “Who does God love?”
Some kids said, “good people,” but others staunchly defended their claim that “No, God loves everyone,” said co-organizer Sandra Wachter-Myers.
“We show them ways to express their faith in way that’s comfortable [not just using the Bible] but skits or songs,” Mutijima said. “It’s also open space to express what they’re feeling.”
At such a young age, some 6-year-olds are confused about faith.
“It’s OK,” Mutijima said. That allows room for conversation. They’re not forcing children to believe, but they share their own personal experiences and testimony. That helps children better understand faith.
“We’ve had instances where children say, ‘I never knew that,’” he said.
Ultimately, the counselors try to teach through example and raise “good citizens” in an open and welcoming community.
“People loving people. We love everyone. We emulate Jesus as much as we can, make kids realize Jesus is a great gift from God,” which makes Christmas the ultimate gift, he said.
Bible lessons were split into age-appropriate groups. Meanwhile, kids were busy playing games, singing and running around.
Music was definitely a highlight, as parents reported that their kids sang camp songs all night long.
Now finishing its third year, the free camp included breakfast, lunch and two snacks. Besides indoor and outdoor activities at the church, the children travelled to Delaware Seashore State Park and Killen’s Pond water park.
Community Lutheran Church will host two sessions of day camp again next summer, from July 13 to 25, 2015. The church is located at the crossroads of Route 20 and Omar Road, east of Frankford. For more information, or to register children, contact the church at (302) 732-1156.