Out-of-the-box thinking produces extraordinary 2020 Camp BeeTree

(August 28, 2020) This summer, dozens of TPC children and their parents participated in virtual get-togethers, at-home art /fellowship projects, and family visits to the church’s BeeTree Preserve as part of the Camp BeeTree Vacation Bible School.

In July and August, 29 campers, ranging from 5-to-10-years-old, met every Sunday for five weeks via Zoom for virtual vacation bible school. The lessons included music, scripture study, storytelling, yoga, art and recommended outdoor activities to try at home.

To tackle the projects at home, each child received a ‘Compassion Camp Craft Kit’ bundled in black and gold – bee-like backpacks. Each bag was filled with supplies for art and fellowship projects, said Jenness Hall, TPC’s director of children and family ministry and coordinator of the summer program.

The camp’s organizers selected compassion as the theme for this year’s Camp BeeTree. “We need compassion for ourselves and our neighbors now – more than ever before,” said Jenness.  “With that in mind, the children learned scripture passages and participated in discussions to cultivate compassion for each other, ourselves, and the world,” Jenness added.

Lessons that illustrated the compassion included: At the table with the prodigal son; Carrying an friend on a cot to visit Jesus; Love thy neighbor and yourself – one of the greatest commandments; Along the way with Ruth, Oprah and Naomi; and World with God’s Jubilee.

“Absolutely amazing contributions were made by the BeeTree Compassion Camp Committee members,” said Jenness. Committee members include Carol Appleby, Bob Bickel, Katie Cashin, Lorene LaBerge, Kimberly Light, and Jill Thomas.

Of course, a favorite component of the camp for the families and children were their visits to TPC BeeTree Preserve. “We wanted families to go in person to Camp BeeTree and explore the stream, hike the trails, and take deep breaths of fresh air,” said Jenness.