This past summer at camp, I developed the curriculum for the Day Camp program. Our theme was MOVE, based on Acts 17:28, “In Him we live and move and have our being…” We talked about how God moves through us to move the world closer to Him, among many things.
Each day we had a teaching program called JAM Session (JAM standing for Jesus and Me). We held it in the morning and set it up as a fun and meaningful start to the day. I tried to create a program that had a blend of many elements and people and experiences that taught an overarching daily message, with each daily message working into a weekly theme. The Five S’s of JAM Session are:
– Stories – Songs – Skits – Scripture – Silliness
With a variety of Bible stories and fun games, worship songs and super hero skits, Scripture verses and silly dancing, some elements short and lively, some longer to help kids develop better attention spans– the forty five minutes would fly by.
Each week we had a different theme, all connected to the major theme of MOVE. We’d have the same Bible verses (though we switched to another set halfway through), same songs, same skit characters, but it would be presented in a different light each week. The seven weeks were:
– SUPERHEROES – ACTIONS – DIRECTIONS – OLYMPICS
– EXERCISE -BODY – MOVEMENT
Finally, there were a number of daily messages that we’d focus on each week. Instead of dealing with a bunch of unrelated topics, I narrowed it down to twelve major topics that would be funneled into and interpreted by the weekly theme. The twelve topics were:
1. Know Yourself- Know Your Calling- Know How God Has Made You
2. Push it to the Limit- Do Your Best
3. Learn the Laws of Right and Wrong- Rethink Your Life
4. Fuel Yourself- Prepare Yourself
5. Encourage/Motivate/Move Others
6. God Takes Us to a Better Life
7. Move the World in Love- Be His Hands and Feet
8. Follow the Right Person/Team
9. Help Others Like God Has Helped Us- Show God’s Love
10. Know God’s Story/Movement
11. Play/Jump in Joy- Enjoy God’s Gift of Life
12. Tell the World- Share the Good News
So through the summer, there were 35 individual daily programs. Each day I’d prepare a Set List and involve all the counselors in leading the program. Someone would lead a game, another would teach the verse, I’d lead worship, another person would tell a story, etc. This variety and diversity of voices gave the children different perspectives and styles to listen to. Also, the variety of activities kept the kids participating– one moment they’re yelling, another moment they’re dancing, then they’re reciting the verse, then they’re sitting and listening to a story, then they’re watching a video, then they’re praying, then more singing, etc.
Attached are samples from the curriculum, including a rundown of the 35 messages, an example of a set list, and images of the weekly themed presentations.