Kids in Motion is by far my favorite camp to be a part of. It’s one of the best feelings in the world to run around with a bunch of kids and teach them about the word of God! One might end up with a stampede of rambunctious boys, or have half the group not speak at all because they’re shy.
This year I counseled about sixteen third-graders who were a great mix of sweet and sour. The counselors would check up periodically on the more reserved kids and ask them to join, but they would continue to say no (or nothing at all). Then we would turn around to see them running, eager to play because everyone was having so much fun. One thing that pushed them to join the group would be the constant chatter about how cool Coach Todd was or the chanting of, “Coach Casey runs like a gazelle!” I can’t help but smile every time I see these kids use teamwork or cheer on a friend as they score a point. I don’t remember a time when the losing team walked away feeling discouraged, because all they could focus on was having a blast together (and how silly they looked doing the chicken dance).
The most encouraging moment of the week was the Thursday afternoon lesson. This is the hardest time to handle the kids because it’s difficult for them to focus, but they were really interested in this lesson. We learned about Jesus’ death on the cross and it was a tough note to end on. We told them that the story gets better and they continued to ask questions that even I hadn’t thought of. These questions led to some great discussions. They all asked about being sons and daughters of God and why He would send His Son to die for us. We continued to tell them about how much God loves them, and the Holy Spirit was so present, it was almost palpable. The next day, two of the boys sat out during soccer, the group’s favorite sport, and talked to Todd about joining God’s family.
Working with these kids and teaching them about Christ’s love for us reminds me to run to God with blind faith and the innocence of a child, which lifts a huge weight off of my shoulders because I know my Father is in control.