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Fellowship Bible Church’s camp adds new themes, activities

By Staff | Jun 29, 2018

Tabitha Johnston/Chronicle Kayla Gollnitz, 8, left, helps Adventure Day Camp Co-Director Jasmine Bowser make camp signs.

Fellowship Bible Church in Shenandoah Junction isn’t afraid of change.

The church, which has offered one of the area’s only low-cost children’s adventure camps at its campground for about a decade, finished the newest addition to its five-week camping schedule Thursday.

“We wanted to give the little kids an opportunity to experience our camps, to try to plant seeds,” said camp co-director Kristen LeMaster about the three-day camp for children ages 4 to 6.

Since the camp was new this year, it was only opened to children from the church, to work out any kinks. About 38 children attended the camp, which rotated every 25 minutes between Creation-themed games, snacks, crafts, songs and Bible lessons.

“Our purpose with this week’s Creation theme is to get them into the Bible and lay an early foundation for kids to understand how the world was created. If we don’t believe in Creation, nothing else stands,” said Kristen’s husband, Tim LeMaster, director of Children’s Ministry.

“We want to make our camps as effective and efficient as we can, so we put a lot of time and effort into them,” Tim said. “You always want to keep the camp fresh, you always want to keep it exciting. Taking the opportunity to give kids new experiences, they get a joy out of it.”

Tim said the camps have a ratio of one leader to every four or five campers. All camp leaders are vetted and placed according to their experience and natural abilities, and all teenage counselors are trained in emergency response and child involvement, he said.

The church’s four other camps have different themes, and were opened to community registration at the beginning of the summer.

Camp Around the World was first, featuring speakers who had family ties or had lived in South Korea, Poland, Brazil or with the Blackfoot tribe in Canada. Children tasted traditional food from each country, and learned about each culture through looking at traditional clothing, playing traditional games and listening to the speakers’ personal experiences.

Sports Camp was the second camp of the summer, featuring hockey, baseball, basketball, volleyball, kickball, track sports, ga-ga and soccer.

The summer’s third camp, Pioneer Camp, focuses on teaching children to enjoy nature through fishing, archery, hunting skills class, a BB gun rifle range, outdoor survival skills class, frontier crafts, campfire cooking and blacksmithing demonstrations.

Kids Day Camp, from July 30 to Aug. 3, is the only camp still accepting campers, who can register in advance online or in person on the first day of camp. The cost of the camp is $15 per child, to cover the cost of crafts, snacks and decorations. Along with bringing lunch every day, campers should bring a towel in case they go on the camp’s slip-and-slide “river,” which complements the camp’s theme, “Rolling River Rampage.”

Jasmine Bowser, a seventh-grade Washington County teacher, will lead the camp with her husband, T.J., and the LeMasters. She said the “Rolling River Rampage” theme represents what the camp hopes to teach its campers.

“The whole point is that you can find adventure on the river – the river of following Jesus,” Bowser said. “This year will include a lot of water activities and involve getting wet, so I think it will bring the whole theme of the camp together.”