Last month and jointly sponsored the five-day Vacation Bible Camp “Shake It Up Café: Where Kids Carry Out God’s Recipe!” to the delight of 34 children ages 5 through 12.
A “Shake It Up Café” poster on the door of the host church, Amicable Congregational, 3736 Main Road in Tiverton, greeted parents and children announcing the themes for each of the five days of camp: “Be Ready for God,” “Give Happily To God,” “Believe Fully in Jesus,” “Remember Jesus Often,” and “Celebrate God Forever.”
The Bible Camp, which opened at 5:45 each evening, offered music, dancing, games, crafts and a ‘50’s and ‘60’s car show finale, followed by a sock hop, “drive-in” movie, and sleepover for the teens.
“The place is just phenomenal,” said the Rev. William Sterrett of the church hall that had been transformed into the Shake It Up Café Diner.
Joyce Lamothe, camp director, and the late Kristen Canto started the Vacation Bible Camp seven years ago.
“For the past two years, it has been a joint effort with Trinity,” said Lamothe. “It’s all free. My friend and I wanted any kid that wants to experience camp to come.”
Upon arrival, the children enjoyed chicken fingers, chips, veggies and a brownie for supper.
Handling the crafts projects, Lamothe taught the younger group, the five-to-eight-year-olds, in the diner. The children wore chef hats and the aprons they had made.
Helping the children decorate colanders at another table was Carolyn Duby, a volunteer from Holy Trinity Church.
Across the room, Rosie Probasco was in charge of the Bible Kitchen and drama presentations.
“I do the storytelling,” she said. “This is the Bible Kitchen with everything to make about Bible stories involving food. We covered Passover and three of the really important festivals: The Festival of First Fruits, The Festival of Weeks, and the Festival of Booths (Sukkoth) that we’re doing today.”
Outside, Kara Powers directed the relay race of nine-to-twelve-year-olds. Youngsters raced over the church lawn with a turkey baster that had to be filled on one end of the track and emptied on the other.
Downstairs in the church kitchen, the children learned about food and science, a program called “Seeing in a New Way.”
“They are making things explode,” said pre-teen Julia Canto, who was helping some of the little ones with the experiments.
Youth volunteers, ages 13 and up, served as camp counselors.
“Each year is different,” said Pastor Bill, wearing a chef’s apron. “We have 13 youths, and they are having a good time working together and doing a lot of things for the children. It’s good for the youth, and we create community. That’s what the church is supposed to be doing.”
In the courtyard, the teens helped the children build booths or “sukkot,” setting up branches in celebration of the Festival of Booths. They also acted out a Bible story.
“O give thanks to the Lord,” the children cried out. “Save us O Lord.”
They then reenacted the ceremony in the temple. Each was given a flower or palm branch to dip in the “Pool of Siloam.”
“Jesus tells us how we can be the best we can be,” said one of the teens. “Trust a King who serves.”