Two Rivers Church hosted its annual family camp July 13-17 with a virtual twist.
Family camp is the church’s version of Vacation Bible School except the whole family is invited to come, Angie Hooie, kid’s ministry pastor, said.
“Because of COVID-19, we had to pivot and make it all virtual,” she said. “So this year it’s five days. We made videos that included large group teachings and our worship. Then we provided the crafts and the activities and the discussion questions for the families to do at home.”
Families registered for a personalized box. Parents were asked to identify their child’s favorite candy so Hooie and her team could personalize the box more.
Each day of the camp consisted of a new craft for families to create together and directions for that craft. There were also guided discussion questions about faith.
“Then also there’s some information for the parent if their child decided to make that faith decision,” Hooie said. “So there was information in there to help the parent as they walk their child into accepting Jesus, and then we put little special things in there. So the theme was called, ‘Focus,’ you know, focusing on the things that you can’t see and finding God in every day. We put 3D glasses in there. We had a temporary tattoo, which every kid loves, and some Play-Doh and bouncy balls and glow sticks because that’s fun.”
The camp remained on track for the originally scheduled dates put in place at the end of 2019, Hooie said.
“It’s actually the same exact week, because at the end of last year we put the dates out, because we were like, ‘Hey, nothing’s going to change. So here’s the dates and go ahead and put them on your calendar.’ So we stuck with that since some families already had that date in their mind and it just kept some sort of semblance of normalcy throughout the summer,” she said.
Hooie made the decision to extend the camp to help families fill days with activities. Due to the virtual nature of the camp, there was no time restriction.
Two Rivers member Kara Allen has been attending the church for about 11 years. She said the virtual camp was a good way for her three daughters, Faith, Hope and Grace, to bring back a little bit of normalcy into their lives while they’re missing their friends at church. The effort also gave an opportunity to enjoy quality family time with her daughters.
On the Two Rivers Church Kid’s Ministry Facebook page, parents have been encouraged to share photos and videos of their families singing, dancing and participating in crafts, which Valerie Ward, Two Rivers member, said has been a great part of the experience.
Ward, who has been attending Two Rivers for about 10 years, said the social media interaction was a lot of fun for her two daughters, Kendall and Haley.
“We don’t have all of our church family and friends around us, but my kids have loved the camp,” she said. “… They haven’t been around a lot of other people lately, so getting to do that and posting the pictures on the kids ministry page has been fun for them because my kids are too young to be on their own social media. So it’s helped make them feel a little bit more connected.”