The Gift - Shared Surprise
Day Four - evening drama
Characters: 1 - George - a boy camper
2 - Chara (pronounced "care-ah") - a girl camper
3 - Chris - can be either boy or girl
Setting: An "all group" session is about to begin and 1, 2, & 3
are sitting next to each other. In actuality, this is also the fourth all-camp
gathering of the "real" week of camp, of which this is the first
"thing." Depending on where this gathering takes place, a gift-wrapped
box is hanging from a rafter or a tree. As this dialogue will take place every
evening, the gift box needs to either shift locations or there needs to be a box
in every location where this might take place (pavilion, campfire, other meeting
Preface with reading of 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 (both to set the theme and to quiet the group)
3 - Have you guys figured out what that gift-wrapped box is all about yet?
1 - Not really. What do you suppose is inside it?
2 - I bet itís empty.
1 - Really? They wouldnít do that, would they?
2 - Itís probably just a decoration, like an ornament on a Christmas tree.
3 - Either that or itís one of those boxes with smaller boxes inside. You know, you open the first and thereís another, which you open, followed by another, and another, and another, and another, and...
2 - We get the picture.
3 - ...until thereís this teeny-weeny little box, and itís empty.
1 - Do you really think thereís nothing in it?
2 - What do you think?
1 - I donít know. I thought it would be more like the presents under the Christmas tree.
3 - Maybe we could take it down and shake it. Did you ever do that?
2 - Shake a box?
3 - Yeah, at Christmas. When no one is looking, you sneak over and shake the presents and try to figure out whatís inside.
1 - My folks donít put the presents out until Christmas Eve.
2 - Why?
1 - One year my brother and I kind of got into them early. Only, we didnít shake the boxes. We flat out tore off the wrapping paper, and started playing with the toys.
2 - And so they now keep them out of reach, right.
1 - Yup. Only, me and my brother always know where they hide them. Weíre much more careful about it now.
3 - You figure out what youíre getting?
1 - Usually.
2 - Donít you two like to be surprised? Thatís the best part about receiving a gift.
3 - It is?
2 - Absolutely. I donít want to know everything ahead of time. The fun part is wondering.
1 - Donít you want to know what youíre going to get?
2 - No way. Until the moment I open the package, it could be anything.
3 - Arenít you disappointed, then, when it isnít what you wanted?
2 - How do you know it isnít what I wanted?
3 - I donít. I just know I often donít get what I want.
2 - Ah, but I do.
1 - Your parents must be rich.
2 - Theyíre not any richer than your folks.
3 - Do you get everything on your list?
2 - What list?
3 - Your wish list. Donít tell me you donít have a wish list.
2 - Oh, in my head I do. Usually a pretty big one.
1 - So, you tell them what you want?
2 - Who?
1 - Your parents.
2 - No. They just get me a present on their own.
3 - "A" present? Just one?
2 - Well, sometimes I get more. Usually, though, itís just one or two.
1 - Whoa! You poor girl.
2 - What do you mean? Iím rich.
3 - Huh?
2 - Between my gift, and my sisterís and brotherís gifts, weíve got a lot.
3 - You "share" your presents?
2 - Donít you?
3 - No.
1 - No.
2 - Then, I would be disappointed if I were you. The best part is sharing.
1 - I think Iím the one who now needs a translator. What do you mean?
2 - Donít you guys share your gifts?
3 - Not really. To me the best part of getting presents is hoarding them. Theyíre all mine and nobody elseís.
1 - Itís always a battle to keep my brother away from my stuff. If Iím not careful, heíll take it, and then probably break it.
3 - Yeah, thatís what happens when you share. You end up losing your gifts.
2 - Not in my home. I guess my parents always talk about respecting each otherís gifts, but also sharing them. Iíd feel so bad if I broke my brother or sisterís present.
3 - Bet they wouldnít feel bad if they broke yours.
2 - Oh, yeah, they would. In fact it happened last year. It was an accident, but my brother made it right. Mom and Dad helped him get me another one. The second one was actually better than the first.
3 - That wouldnít happen in my family.
1 - I donít think it would in mine, either. But it does sound nice.
2 - It is. And itís good to share. I feel sorry for families that donít.
3 - Anyway, back to that box. You really think thereís something in it?
1 - I think so. Maybe itís something weíre supposed to share.
2 - I still think itís an empty box. But, then, I like surprises.
3 - Maybe being surprised isnít so bad, after all.
1 - Speaking of surprises, guess who got asked to read the Bible tonight?
2 - You?
1 - Me. I donít think Iím as good a reader as you, Chara, but since you did it already, Iím not really scared.
3 - Hey, youíll do just fine.
2 - You will! Iím sure of it!
1 - Thanks.
2 - Shhh! I think theyíre about ready to start.
At this point the leader begins, and the line between drama and reality blurs. This becomes the actual day four evening all-camp gathering, perhaps vespers or campfire or.... As suggested in day threeís drama postscript, perhaps this eveningís worship can build upon last nightís. You might ask each Koinonia, family, cabin, or small (or whatever you call them) group to bring a "dish" to this eveningís worship "meal" (vespers or campfire or...) - some element of worship that they will lead. Have in mind goal "d" of day 3 in the curriculum: "Develop a service of worship to God that is sensitive of and adapted to the natural environment." Somewhere in the middle of it all, have the drama character "George" read Ephesians 4:11-16. A few words developing the theme and, again, wetting the tastebuds concerning the "gift" box, might be in order. Overall, keep it simple. Involve the children! Use some of the other suggested scriptures. Add prayer(s). Worship!
©2000, Pete Haynes for Shepherdís Spring OMC and Camp Mardela, Mid-Atlantic District Church of the Brethren (Outdoor Ministries), to be used with "Godís People - Many Gifts" rev. ed., ©1999, Geneva Press), part of the Sow Seeds ... Trust the Promise series. Permission granted to adapt and reword to fit the needs of your camp. Just list the original source.
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this page was last updated 07/17/01