Lower Valley Bible camps offer fun, faith, fellowship
No one is an island.
Not the youngest, the sickest or the weakest, said Jamie Dillon, youth minister at St. Scholastic Parish in Aspinwall.
“We are all here to help each other,” said Dillon, as she closed out this year's vacation Bible camp where more than 70 children spent the week learning, singing, crafting and helping each other.
Themed “Faith Island,” Dillon said she focused on the continuing plight of Haiti and social justice across the world, but she delivered it on a level that young children would be more interested in.
“We talked about the kids in Haiti and how they don't have money to buy toys,” Dillon said. “The first day of camp we made soccer balls out of newspaper.”
Summer Bible schools will be in full swing this year throughout the Lower Valley, with many of the parishes hosting week-long festivities to encourage children toward religion and community service.
At Christ Church Fox Chapel, the camp runs July 8 to 12.
With the theme “Kingdom Rock — Stand Strong for God,” children will be transported back to medieval times through games, songs and crafts.
Director Patty Todd said that some of the supplies she's gathering for this year's props include grapevine wreaths, scepters, flicker lights, gold lame', shepherd crooks, crowns and stuffed animals (mainly sheep).
“We'll be using paper towel rolls for castles and cardboard for shields. We'll try to make knight costumes and everything,” she said.
Aimed at children ages three to those in fifth grade, the cost is $75. The church is along Squaw Run Road East in Fox Chapel.
Later in July, Faith United Methodist Church in Fox Chapel will host its camp from July 21 to 25. The theme will be “God's Backyard.”
“We'll use tents and outdoors items to get the kids' attention,” said Amy Parkinson, camp leader. Children should each bring at plain white T-shirt for one of the crafts, she said.
Parkinson will focus on service this year — to family, community and church.
“We want them to know how important it is to do so for others,” she said.
Camp is for children ages 3 though eighth grade. Cost is $7.
The church is along West Chapel Ridge Road. Call 412-508-7868 to register or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
At St. Scholastica, along Brilliant Avenue, Dillon enlists more than a dozen teenage counselors to help lead the younger campers through daily lessons.
Genny Laymon, 15, of O'Hara, and Jesse Dillon, 16, of Indiana Township, said the children were thrilled to discover each day what kind of games and crafts were in store for them.
Laymon and Dillon led a stuffed animal version of Angry Birds, and they held milk jug relays where children raced with water-filled bottles.
“We wanted them to see what the kids in Haiti feel like when they have to carry water around every day,” Laymon said.
The children recycled the water bottles to make banks, Dillon said. They took them home and collected pennies all week to bring back at the end of the week.
“We had them put their coins end-to-end along the gym floor and it was great,” Dillon said. “One team crossed the floor three times with the change they collected.”
Proceeds from the penny races will be shipped to the Good Samaritan School in Haiti.
Aspinwall resident and counselor Emma Klatt, 14, said the event was aimed at making the children realize that there are people they can help “even though they are young.”
Fellow counselors Clare O'Connor, 14, and Sean Ellis, 13, said they got as much out of camp as their younger counterparts.
“I like being a leader,” said Clare, of Aspinwall.
“I think we all got a better understanding of how other people live and what poverty is,” said Sean, of O'Hara. “We need to remember what other people have.”
Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-782-2121, ext. 2 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Sharpsburg hoopsters bringing back Wolves name
- From Aspinwall to New Kensington, free shuttle offers rides to some UPMC facilities
- Fee to rent Fireman’s Park in Aspinwall could increase
- Aspinwall seeks funds to begin Brilliant Avenue intersection work
- Single-lane nighttime closures to start on Route 28, near RIDC Park
- Portion of Dorseyville Road closed for 3 weeks
- Demolition of Aspinwall salt shed starts, new facility will be built