Peace and Nature Camp is a one-week day-camp at People’s Church that runs M-F, June 19-23, 9am – 4pm and is open to all children ages 7-12 years old. This includes an all day field trip to the Kalamazoo Nature Center on Thursday of that week. Camp provides an opportunity to play and explore in the woods, ponds, and fields around People’s Church and to nourish spiritual growth through close contact with nature. Environment Educator David Sobel speaks to the importance of this type of experience in his book Wild Play:
Another parent said to me “They’ve lost the ability to play outdoors.” Haven’t you heard some parent speak this way, and doesn’t it make you sad? Sad not just in a nostalgic good-old-days way, but because you sense that a child’s life without wild play is diminished. The glad animal play of childhood, the complete immersive quality, is one of the elixirs of life and also one of the indispensable proteins that build a sturdy adult soul. Middle childhood offers a window of opportunity to have these experiences, and if a child misses that opportunity, the quality of immersion is less accessible later in life. When, as adults we sink into a novel or get lost in creative work or tussle with new ideas or improvise on the job, we’re using skills that were roughed in during childhood play. Recalling the powerful moments of childhood, we think of being perched high in the top of a wind-swaying tree, the swooping chase down an alleyway, being tumbled in a wave. Will our children think back as fondly, or as productively, on playing video games? We choose to preserve outdoor play because it feeds the soul, trains the mind, and gives children the kind of drenching good-night’s sleep that means they spent the day fully alive. When you shake hands with the world, the world shakes back.
Look for a short presentation about camp at the April 23rd Earth Day Service. Registration forms will be available in the foyer at the camp display board and online starting April 23rd. The cost of camp is $120 per camper. Registration ends June 4th. Scholarships are available if registered by May 28th. Camp tends to fill quickly, register early.
If you have any questions, are interested in helping with camp or would like to make a donation to the scholarship fund please contact me at 269-623-2932 or firstname.lastname@example.org.