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5-16-12 How Do You Spell "Summertime?"
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C-A-M-P!  And what about V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N  B-I-B-L-E  S-C-H-O-O-L?

If you talk to a group of adults and ask about some of their most significant childhood memories, chances are that many of them will mention one of these two programs!
 
   
  Big Lake Youth Camp in Sisters, Ore.  
More than 70 youth camps are distributed across the North American Division's 50 states, 10 provinces, and our new territory, Guam and Micronesia. They are run by our conference youth departments with James Black as the NAD Camps Ministries director.

Why does our Church runs so many youth camps? Because we believe in raising our youth to know God and to have rich experiences that will keep them connected with our Creator and the Church. We desire to show them God through nature, relationships, experiences, great stories. We want them to learn indoor and outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, horseback riding, swimming, arts and crafts, and much more, so they will have this ability to add to their healthy enjoyment and usefulness in life.

Beyond the obvious education and entertainment benefits, one of the greatest things youth camps do for children is to help them meet new people outside their own hometown circle, to teach them how to get along with others, and even to give them leadership skills that will help them succeed in life. It’s a chance for them to see that our Church reaches far beyond the walls of their own Sabbath school and home church.

Vacation Bible School (VBS), Phyllis Washington, NAD Children's Ministries director, is another adventure that children look forward to in the summer. It's a major project for the adults who are organizing it and bringing thousands of community children across the division into the Seventh-day Adventist Churches every day. It provides nearly-free "babysitting and child care" for neighborhood parents, and it draws them to the church at the end of the week to see the program put on by the children and the crafts and projects that they have been working on all week.

It's a great "opening wedge!" Churches are often built by the kind of children's programs that they provide. Parents -- even non-attending and non-Adventist parents -- often will bring their children to a church-sponsored program that is especially for children. In some towns, there are very few quality children's events provided that are safe, educational, and fun. A well planned, safe and fun Vacation Bible School fills that billing.

This year there are four VBS programs available: "Kid's in the Kitchen," "Castles and Crowns," "KGCN" (Kid's and God's Communication Network), and "Go Fishin' Mission Adventure". For more ideas and resources go to http://www.KidsMinistryIdeas.com, or http://www.Kids.AdventistMission.org.

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North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists
12501 Old Columbia Pike
Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600 USA
Telephone: 301-680-6400
Fax: 301-680-6464
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