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This blog post was written by Autumn Palmer, the Westminster on the Road Coordinator. Autumn studied Psychology at Northern Michigan University, and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
We did it! After an extraordinary summer, we have officially entered the wonderful season of Fall. Don’t get me wrong, I love summer, but fall will always hold a special place in my heart! (It is my namesake after all!) I want to talk about this summer, and the project that held a very special place in my heart.
This summer I was the coordinator for Camp Westminster’s: Westminster on the Road (WOTR). WOTR is a travelling day camp that visited churches in Detroit and the surrounding area this summer, bringing the gift of camp for a week to each church. Westminster on the Road operated as a pilot program in the summer of 2018 at Westminster Church of Detroit. This summer, instead of one, we held 6 sessions of Westminster on the Road.
The churches that participated were: Cherry Hill Presbyterian in Dearborn, Jefferson Avenue Presbyterian in Detroit, Westminster Church of Detroit, STARR Presbyterian in Royal Oak, St. John’s Presbyterian in Detroit, and Hope Presbyterian/Trinity Community Presbyterian.
As a seasoned camp veteran, I was excited to take on this challenge to translate camp activities to the city. I wanted to do as many camp-like activities here, as we did at camp. So we did things like pitching tents in an open area of the church. It’s where we held our FOB (rest-time). We also practice building fire outside (don’t worry! They never got very big!). We went bug hunting in the grass and flowers surrounding the building. We painted, we sang camp songs (including for our blessings before meals) and of course, we had morning watch and Bible Quest each day.
Along with all of that we also played get to know you games, team building activities, parachute games, made bracelets and we had multiple STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) activities! Just like at camp, our days were jam-packed with activities.
We even had a very special guest visit us at each church. Dan the Creature Man from Little Creatures Co. brought 10 animals with him each week. There were 2 snakes, 2 birds, a frog, a tortoise, a chameleon, a chinchilla, a tarantula and an alligator! We got to learn about their eating habits, their habitats, and even got to touch some of them!
Volunteers from the congregation of each church helped make our time there successful. Volunteers did things like comfort kids who needed some extra attention, prepare snacks and meals, and check-in and check-out campers for the day. We are grateful for all of their help this summer!