Out with the children

Camping is very common among the Norwegians. That being the case, I had a camp to Solhaug with NMSU from 2nd to 3rd November. Here, I marvelled at the display of the desirable child-like traits. I have all along thought that the context that a person is in determines how they behave. Inasmuch as this is true, I was inevitably shocked to realize that children have common underlying behaviors regardless of where they are… What I observed brought me to the conclusion that we all have similarities that are so inherently glued in us that we cannot avert them. And children are the very best example for this fact!

In this camp, I had the privilege of interacting with about twenty 10 to 14 year old kids. Hanging out with these children was very fun and momentous. They were so energectic and warm. Really eager to learn more, asking questions as much as they could. Running helter skelter as they chat with each other…

Expressing oneself
The children had no fear of expressing themselves, whether they were wrong or not. Actually, what I noted is that any time they were faced by a difficluty, the first person they could ask was one of the “teachers” present. It was fun to see how they kept realigning themselves depending on how friendly they were to each other and how they could gain in the long run. If a child notices that you are hostile, they express themselves by avoiding you. And if you are frindely, then they will keep flocking around you.

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Children always desire to give their view

Games
The camp wouldn’t have been complete wihout a variety of games both for team building and for fun. The children were divided into groups and the games commenced…

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Listening keenly to the instructions

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Øyvind explains how to use the bow and arrow

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Experiencing the inclined climbing

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Bjarte joined the kids in “board football”

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Filling up a bucket using sponges!!

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Crossing suspended bridge

Entertainment
Children love fun; and so that Saturday evening, there was a time for entertainmnet. In this, the children were encouraged to come up with creative pieces that they could present to the others. And many of them came up…

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Mathias and Oliver: Out for mischief

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Got you!!
Two of the teachers getting washed for not answering the questions correctly

The pictorial truth:
This is just a snapshot of some of the other many things that happened during this camp; the many encounters, the funny moments, the hideouts…

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Asgeir and David: Boys will be boys!

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Asgeir and David
Had to take a photo with these boys in their relaxed mode

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Mads, Victor and Morten
These boys are not only relaxed and obedient but also very lovely

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My new Ethiopian-Norwegian friend, Andreas.
This boy is very bold, very expressive and very friendly.

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Which of these two phones do you think belongs to the children?
A wrong guess; it is the iPhone!!

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Taking some time off to be alone in the arena

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Time on the train: Reflecting and jotting down

Food
Food in this camp was exquisite. We took lots of Norwegian delicacies which largely comprised the bread. But then, my favorite was the taco; this food with a Mexican origin! It was great seeing how it was made and how to reputably consume it…

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A plateful of taco

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Enjoying taco in the cosy candle light

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What a marvelous comparison!

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A cup of chocolate
This was to give us the Ethiopian feel!

The teachings
It was great just having the children participate in a number of devotions and Bible study sessions. They engaged by asking many relevant questions. There was a session on missions; that blew me out! How do you explain the wholesome message of Christ’s mission to 10-14 year olds without sounding so complicated? This simply gave me an insight into the beauty of “coming down to the level of the seeker” in all endeavors. To speak to the child, you have to become like one; you have to speak as they speak, to engage as they do, to laugh as they do, to play as they do. The illustrations used should be those that they can understand and easily relate with.

So, we shared the Good News with the children…

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Using water and sugar to explain the concept of Christ in us

…and we prayed together around the Cross. The teachers began to pray and it was just so glorious to hear the kids start to mention their own inbuilt prayers to God, the Father…

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Gathering around the Cross

The team
This camp would not have been a success had it not been for the team of about nine teachers. I was glad to have been a part of this team. Meeting every night after ensuring that every child had gone to bed and reviewing how the day had been was a great eye-opener on how difficult it can be to be a “parent”. It is worth mentioning here that not every child went to bed as expected; there were those who were simply stubborn, and were out to make the “teachers'” lives difficult… All the same, the time was great and we enjoyed serving these amazing children…

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A section of the teachers: Henriette, Marit (leader), Bjarte and Simiyu

This remains one of my best camps ever! The time with those children was a great adventure…

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2 comments on “Out with the children

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