Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Church Camp Fun

Here is what we have been up to all week!

I thought I would share our Vacation Church School program with you all. This year we used the Book of Days idea from the Garden of the Theotokos. We used the music from that curriculum, the kids each created a book of days from an 8x8 scrapbook album from Hobby Lobby (special ordered when on sale for a cost of only $2.50 per book!), and created projects pertaining to each day of the week.
Father gives a lesson on the apostles.
The kids anxiously await their turn to have their bottles filled with Holy Water.

Adding an icon to the cover of the finished book of days - a job well done.

The final day the children cleaned up around the church cemetery, removing trash, clearing grass from the grave stones, and remembering those who are no longer with us.

The Orthodox Church commemorates something special each day of the week, so the children spent the week learning about each day. Here is a brief summary of what we covered:

Monday - we introduced the idea of jobs/work, discussing with the children the many different jobs people have. From there, we moved to a discussion of God's "work" - creation. We learned the days of creation with the song from Veritas Press, then continued with a lesson about Sunday and the Resurrection. We read one of my favorite books - The Man and the Vine and discussed the Eucharist. The projects for this day included making a chalice, and making their own loaf of Prosphora bread.

Tuesday - We reviewed the idea of jobs, and read The Heavenly Garden, then began talking about the angels and their jobs. We learned the order of angels song from the Garden of the Theotokos, and also the song about John the Baptist. We covered Monday and Tuesday on this day, which tied in nicely, explaining to the kids why John the Baptist is depicted with wings. The projects for today included decorating a bottle for Holy Water.

Wednesday - We covered the cross, focusing on Jesus and the job He was sent to earth to do - completing Wednesday and Friday pages in their book of days. We discussed fasting, had cross cookies for snacks, and learned about St. Helen and the recovery of the cross. They planted basil, and created a wooden cross to stick in their pot of basil.

Thursday - We focused on the apostles and how their work was to spread the word throughout the world (since we spend plenty of time learning about St. Nicholas in December :). They learned the song from the Garden of the Theotokos, played a fish relay game, and made wooden boats and banners.

Friday - Finally, we focused on what our "jobs" are - to glorify God, and seek to become like Christ. We then discussed what happens when our work on earth is done, talked about the departed, and the kids brough photos of someone who had died to include on their Saturday page. We made kollyva, and read the story of the miracle of the kollyva from the Grandmother's Stories series, and the kids finished up their books and projects.

It was a wonderful week, and I was truly blessed to be a part of it and see these kids immersed in the faith of the church, and learning how to live the life of the church every day, not just on Sunday!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Anne Marie,

I cannot thank you (and your team) enough for such a fantastic VBS.

What a great week. Such a great balance of instruction, fun, activity, crafts, worship.

I know you put in lots and lots of hours of preparation. It was not in vain.

Thank you SO much,