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Churches gear up for fun and games at summer camps

Kids made masks and became sharks during “Under the Sea Week” at Spring Hill Christian Academy summer camp.

Courtesy of Jeb Berleth

Kids made masks and became sharks during “Under the Sea Week” at Spring Hill Christian Academy summer camp.

Singing, acting and dancing may not seem like traditional summer camp activities for a church. But that is what First United Methodist Church of Brooksville will be teaching children as they learn and perform in a game-show musical at Kids' Summer Musical Camp.

The Ultimate Question will teach children entering first through sixth grades about who God says they are.

"We will enjoy singing, drama games, dance movement, a music craft or two and a daily snack," said program director Paula Whitaker. "(The show) is a combination of song and drama. A small group of kids will act as contestants and answer questions about God and how much he loves us."

Between quiz rounds, the rest of the campers will use song and motion to emphasize what the contestants are learning. Every child will participate.

Whitaker has led church choirs and praise bands for the past 25 years and has served in children's and youth ministries. She also teaches voice and piano.

No prior musical experience is necessary for the camp, but participants should like to sing and have a strong interest in performing, Whitaker said.

The camp costs $20 and will run from 9 a.m. to noon July 22 to 26. The fee includes instruction, music and a T-shirt that will be worn on the night of the performance. Scholarships are available.

The church is at 109 S Broad St., Brooksville. The deadline to register is July 5. Call (352) 796-3363.

Several churches and Christian organizations will offer traditional camp programs this summer.

First United Methodist Church of Spring Hill's summer camp begins today and is available to children age 4 through sixth grade from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Aug. 16.

Depending on the age group, activities include exercise and recreation, music and puppetry classes, cooking and craft classes, swimming excursions, library visits and field trips, Bible lessons and chapel, and pizza parties. Snacks will be provided. Kids bring their own lunch.

"We do not consider ourselves a babysitter," said Robert Weatherall, youth minister. "We provide a safe, secure and nurturing environment where kids can learn and grow physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually in the Christian faith."

The cost is $75 weekly and $25 daily, with discounts for siblings. The church is at 9344 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill. Call (352) 683-2600.

Spring Hill Christian Academy, 3140 Mariner Blvd., will offer camp for children from K4 through sixth grade from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. starting Monday and running through Aug. 2. Before and after care is also available.

Each day, counselors will take students to different stations to enjoy outdoor games, indoor games, the playground, arts and crafts, board games and other activities. The children will have daily Bible devotions and work on math and reading during classroom time.

There will be special Friday events, such as "Camp Has Talent," and field trips on alternating weeks for roller-skating and bowling. Trips are also planned to Dinosaur World, Air Heads and Buccaneer Bay.

Snack periods as well as breakfast and lunch will be provided.

Each week there will feature a different theme, said director Jeb Berleth.

"We want children to have a blast during the summer and give parents a fun and flexible alternative to babysitting," Berleth said.

Cost for K4 and K5 is $95 weekly, $75 for three days and $60 for two days. Elementary-age children cost $85, $65 and $50. Field trips are extra.

Register at the school or send email to Call (352) 650-4331.

Word of Life Florida Youth Camp, 13247 Word of Life Drive, Hudson, is open to children age 6 through 12th grade from June 16 to Aug. 10 for weeklong, overnight camps that cost $267 for Junior Camp and $318 for Teen Camp. The camps offer Bible teaching, rallies, games, crafts, water fun, a climbing tower, zip lines and a skate park. Visit or call (727) 379-5010.

"Mission Possible" is the camp being offered at Lakewood Retreat for kids ages 4 to 6 from July 14 to 16 ($149) and ages 7 to 18 from July 14 to 19 ($299). The overnight camp offers full-course meals and access to counselor-supervised activities.

"We offer a week of camp that focuses on spiritual growth through intensive Bible training and warm interpersonal relationship with campers and counselors that strengthens life commitment to service Christ — all in a uniquely fun environment," said Bud Goodwin, camp administrator.

The camp is at 25458 Dan Brown Hill Road, south of Spring Lake. Call (352) 796-4097 or visit Register by July 8.

Grace World Outreach Church's Kids Kamp, "Super Heroes," will run from July 17 to 20 for kids entering first grade up to age 12. The cost is $130 for the overnight camp.

The church is at 20366 Cortez Blvd., Brooksville. Call (352) 796-3685.

Ridge Manor Community United Methodist Church, 34350 Cortez Blvd., Ridge Manor, is offering "God's Backyard Bible Camp — Under the Stars" for children age 4 through sixth grade from 6 to 8:30 p.m. July 22 to 26.

The free program includes music, games, video stories, snacks and outdoor games.

Call (352) 583-3770 and leave a message to reserve a spot.

Churches gear up for fun and games at summer camps 06/04/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 4, 2013 4:24pm]
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