The Gift - Beyond the Nametag
Day One - evening drama

                Characters:     1 - George - a boy camper
                                      2 - Chara (pronounced "care-ah") - a girl camper
                                      3 - Chris - can be either boy or girl

Junior Camp Theme/Goals for Day

Scriptures for Day

                Setting:   An "all group" session is about to begin and 1 & 2 just happen to be sitting next to each other. Part-way through their conversation, 3 comes and joins them. In actuality, this is also the first 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 place).
                Preface with reading of 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 (both to set the theme and to quiet the group)

1 - Hi, my name is George. Whatís yours?

2 - Chara. Canít you read a name tag?

1 - Sure I can! I just didnít know how to pronounce it. I mean, it could be care-ah, or chair-ah.

2 - I know, most people donít say it right.

1 - Makes sense! Never heard it before, myself.

2 - Not many people have.

1 - Howíd you get that name? Were you named after a relative?

2 - No... Listen, Iíd rather not talk about it, okay?

1 - Fine with me. Have you been to camp here before?

2 - No, have you?

1 - No, this is my first time.

2 - I wasnít sure I wanted to come.

1 - Me neither.

2 - Your parents talk you into it?

1 - Yup. Yours?

2 - Actually, it was my cousin. Said it would be really fun.

1 - Haviní fun yet?

2 - Iím not sure. I donít know anybody else here.

1 - Havenít you gotten to know the kids in your cabin?

2 - I mean, I didnít know anyone whoís here before today.

1 - You shy?

2 - I wouldnít say "shy" ... just ... yes, Iím shy.

1 - So am I.

2 - Well, you introduced yourself to me.

1 - I know, thatís not like me.

2 - And Iím a girl, too.

1 - I know. Thatís whatís so weird.

2 - That Iím a girl?

1 - No, that Iíd introduce myself to you. Thatís not like me, especially with a girl.

2 - So, why did you?

1 - I donít know. You were sitting next to me, I guess.

2 - Makes sense!

1 - My counselor said that by the end of the week weíll be a big, happy family.

2 - A "big, happy family"?

1 - Thatís what he said.

2 - Sounds like a mix between a "big mac" and a "happy meal."

1 - Donít remind me of "Mickey Dís." We wonít have fast food for a whole week.

2 - Thatís a problem?

1 - Itís not for you?

2 - Nah. I donít like that greasy stuff.

1 - Really?

2 - In fact, Iím a vegetarian.

1 - A what?

2 - I donít eat meat?

1 - No burgers?

2 - Nope.

1 - Why?

2 - Long story.

1 - A vegie-tale?

2 - Funny!

                            (At this point 3 comes up, sits next to 1 &2, and joins the conversation)

3 - Hey, guys! Iím Chris. Who are you?

2 - Canít you read a nametag?

1 - Sheís "Chara the vegie-tale."

2 - Thanks! Just "Chara," please. Heís George.

3 - Chara. Howíd you get that name? Were you named after a relative?

1 - Sheíd rather not talk about it?

3 - Cool. What, do you guys talk for each other or something?

2 - No. We just met a few minutes ago.

3 - Sounds like youíve known each other a long time.

1 - Actually, neither of us know anybody else here.

3 - Really? Guess thatís why I didnít recognize you. I didnít think you were here last year.

2 - Were you?

3 - Yup. Iíve been coming to camp since I was in diapers.

1 - I didnít think they had a "baby camp."

3 - My folks are really involved here. Mom was a counselor when I was a baby and just brought me along.

1 - They can do that?

3 - Did with me. I come every year. I know everybody.

2 - Except us.

3 - Well, now I know you ... sorta.

1 - Is your Mom a counselor this year?

3 - Nah! Just me.

2 - So, this is like a "big, happy family" for you?

3 - Is that what your counselor said?

2 - His did.

3 - Well, yeah, itís kind of neat how camp gets to be. Even the people I didnít think Iíd like
            at the beginning of a week grow on me. By the end of the week...

1- theyíre your best friend,

2 - your twin brother, even.

3 - I wouldnít go that far. Letís just say, we grow together.

1 - Have you two noticed that package hanging over there?

2 - I saw it earlier, but didnít give it a thought. Is it always there, Chris?

3 - Thatís the first time I ever saw it.

2 - Not very observant are you?

3 - Guess not. Wonder what it is.

1 - Looks like a present of some sort, all wrapped up.

2 - Sssh! The session is starting.

            At this point the leader begins, and the line between drama and reality blurs. This becomes the actual first all camp gathering of the week, with welcomes, announcements etc. Somewhere in the talk, though, the leader draws attention to the gift box hanging from a rafter or a tree. This may begin the "worship" or "vespers" time. Keep it simple. Have someone read (not dryly, but so that it is interesting) 1 Corinthians 12:4-13. Talk about what a "gift" is, beginning with how being here this week is something we can receive as a gift, how what we will become together will be a gift (try not to overuse words like "community" and "unity," but thatís what weíre talking about - this is not something we create, it is a gift from God). Finally, allude to the other sense of "gift" spoken of in the Corinthians passage, how each person here has a special gift from God. Instead of defining that too much at this point, leave it open-ended. Leave them wondering what is in the box. Add prayer and singing.

            ©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