God’s Backyard: Do we help our kids experience it enough?
Go on a nature walk in the dark. Climb a tree. Play in the rain. A British charity has create a bucket list for kids – a collection of 50 things they should do before they turn 12 – activities like burying someone in the sands, or making a mud slide.
It started me thinking, in the weekend after Earth Day, how often we take our youth outside to experience God’s Backyard. Many of our youth events, and Sunday schools are composed of classroom activities and indoor discussions, but we may be missing an opportunity to shake things up by taking them outdoors. Perhaps a quiet nature walk even if it’s just around the neighborhood. Or planting flowers outside the church. Or it may just mean holding your Sunday morning class outside, under a shady tree.
You could also make sure you get as many youth as you can attending one of our church camps this summer where they are guaranteed to have a chance to climb a tree, or sleep under the stars. On May 6th churches across the Eastern Synod are invited to participate in God’s Backyard Sunday. Worship materials will be coming in the next few days to help your community of faith discover concrete ways God comes to us through our Eastern Synod Camps. You can find more information about our camps here:
Camp Mush-a-Mush: www.campmush.ca
Edgewood Camp and Conference Centre: www.edgewood-camp.on.ca
Lutherlyn Camp and Conference Centre: http://camplutherlyn.zxq.net
After all, Earth Day shouldn’t just be about turning off the tap and sorting the garbage. To really take root in our youth, it has to be about inspiring them to appreciate, on a truly personal level, the natural beauty around us.
To read more about the “bucket list” follow this link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/parenting/young-children/children-health/bucket-list-for-kids-50-things-to-do-before-theyre-12/article2409207/page1/
Date: April 24, 2012