The Gift - Holy Joy

Day Two - 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 evening (second day) 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 - Hey, Chara. ĎSup?  (or the current - "WHAAZZZUPP?)

2 - Excuse me?

1 - ĎSup?

2 - Whatís that supposed to mean?

1 - It means "whatís up?"

2 - Oh, why didnít you say that, then?

1 - I did. ĎSup?

2 - The sky.

1 - Funny! Howíd the day go?

2 - Okay, I guess. You?

1 - I like it here. The guys in my cabin are cool. So are most of the girls in my K-group.
                                                                (or whatever name the smaller mixed camp groups are called)

2 - You donít like some of them?

1 - Well, you know girls!

2 - Yeah, I should hope so! I am one, you dimwit.

1 - Sorry. Itís just that a few of the girls in our group have an "attitude."

2 - Guys donít have "attitudes"?

1 - I suppose so, but not in our group ... that I can see.

2 - I know some guys with Ďattitude."

1 - You know what I mean.

2 - Unfortunately, I do. Weíve got a few with "attitude" in our group, too. In fact, Iím sort of feeling left out.

1 - Bummer.

2 - Excuse me?

1 - Bummer. It means, "thatís too bad."
                (As theyíre talking 3 comes over and sits down next to 1 & 2, but doesnít join in the conversation
                     until later. In the meantime, 3 is watching other happenings, but listening in.)

2 - Do you need to take a course in English?

1 - Do you have an "attitude?"

2 - I probably do, I guess. Maybe thatís why Iím not fitting in.

1 - Donít be so hard on yourself. I donít know you very well, but you seem an okay person.

2 - Just "okay?"

1 - Isnít it okay to be "okay?"

2 - I guess.


1 - You didnít want to tell me about your name last night. Where did "Chara" come from?

3 - Yeah, "inquiring minds want to know!"

2 - Why, look, itís the "diaper man/woman" (depends on if Chris is male or female)

3 - Hey, sheís got a sense of humor.

1 - Hi, Chris. ĎSup?  (or the current - "WHAAZZZUPP?)

3 - Not much. You?

1 - Eh...! (gives a shrug)

2 - Do I need a translator here?

3 - Huh?

1 - No. But maybe you could translate your name. What is it?

2 - If you must know, it means "joy."

3 - You donít sound very joyful as you say that.

2 - Well, Iíve never liked it. Iíve always wished my parents had chosen a different name.

1 - How about plain, old "Joy."

2 - How about we change your name to "George of Jungle!"

3 - Sounds like sheís got an "attitude."

1 - Maybe so.

2 - Thanks for being so understanding!

1 - Well, I like your name. Itís got class!

3 - Yeah, me too! I like stuff thatís different. Me, Iíve got a name that can fit anybody. With the name Chris, I could be a guy or a girl.

1 - There are a lot of Chrisís in my school.

3 - It would be nice to have a name that was just mine - no one elseís.

2 - Never thought of it that way before.

1 - Reminds me of that gift box. __(leaderís name)___ said last night that each one of us has a "gift" that is unique to us, something special. What do you suppose that means?

2 - Havenít a clue.

3 - Guess weíll find out.

1 - Maybe theyíll say more tonight.

2 - Oh, please, I donít want to think about "tonight."

3 - What about tonight?

2 - About a few moments from now.

1 - Huh?

2 - I was asked to read from the Bible in front everyone tonight.

3 - Thatís a problem?

2 - In front of everyone? Yes, it is!

3 - Why?

1 - Iíd find that hard, too.

3 - You not very good at reading?

2 - Thatís not the problem. Iím a good reader, even out loud.

3 - So?

1 - Itís the reading in front of everyone.

2 - That, and it being the Bible Iím reading from.

3 - So?

1 - Sheís shy, like me.

2 - Yes, but... itís also that I donít feel Iím good enough to read the Bible for everyone.

1 - Good enough?

2 - Well, the Bible is supposed to be Godís message.

3 - Yeah, and?

2 - When I read it for others, Iím like Godís "messenger."

1 - "Chara, Godís messenger." (1 & 3 clown around with "religious" sounding voices)

3 - "The chosen one."

1 - "Called by God."

3 - "Godís favorite."

2 - All right, you guys. Youíve had your fun! But, you know, reading the Bible is serious stuff.

1 - Because itís the "Holy" Bible?

2 - Well, yes. And I donít feel very "Holy."

3 - What would make you feel "Holy?"

2 - I donít know.

1 - Bummer.

2 - For once I understand what you mean. It is a "bummer."

3 - You still going to do it - read the Bible in front of everyone?

2 - Do I have a choice? I said Iíd do it, and Iím not someone who goes back on her word.

1 - Okay, then, go for it! Youíll do just fine.

3 - Put some "joy" into it.

2 - Funny!

3 - I wasnít trying to be funny.

1 - Shh! Itís beginning.

                At this point the leader begins, and the line between drama and reality blurs. This becomes the actual day two evening all-camp gathering, perhaps vespers or campfire or.... Somewhere amid the singing etc., the leader calls on "2" (Chara) to read Isaiah 6:1-8 - as if she were a camper in this week. The person playing Chara reads "in character," a good reader, though nervous for the above shared reasons (which fits in with Isaiahís own "nervousness" in the scripture text). An appropriate follow-up song might be "Here I am Lord" (by Dan Schutte, Come Join the Circle songbook, p. 10).

                The leader(s) then set the dayís theme "Godís Holy People." Here are some suggestions for doing this. On newsprint, have the campers brainstorm on the word "Holy." What does it mean to be "Holy?" 1 & 3 above jokingly started the process. Begin with the camperís understandings (both negative and positive). Somewhere along the line, bring in concepts (make sure wording is age-appropriate) like "different," "set aside for something special," "made holy" (i.e. not achieved), "functional holiness" (e.g. Isaiah had a task to accomplish - his lips were made holy because he was to become Godís mouthpiece). Perhaps the devotional part of that dayís staff meeting beforehand can involve similar brainstorming, so that counselors are ready to jump in with ideas to add to the campersí. In other words, prime the pump.

                Shift to wondering how we (not just "me") are "Godís holy people." You donít have answer the question, just start the pondering, helping campers to insert themselves in the picture. Somewhere in the process, again draw attention to the gift box hanging from a rafter or a tree. By the way, "gift" might be another brainstorm word for "Holy" (think about it!). Godís holy people - Godís gift? For whom? Repeat the thought (again, however, not going into depth - just plant the seed) that each person here has a special gift from God. Leave it open-ended. Leave them wondering what is in the box. Add prayer and more singing. Worship!

              [Peteís further ponderings on "holiness" - Is it more a matter of "being" rather than "doing?" The Bibleís holiness codes in themselves donít make us holy, rather they serve to separate us from the mundane/profane, such that we might dwell in the awesome holiness of God. We cannot make ourselves holy. Isaiah's lips were touched by holiness. The Ephesian church (2:11-22) was "brought near" by Godís action and not their own.... Holiness involves confession. Not really "I am scum of the earth" variety, though, but rather a letting go, a releasing of that which blocks our standing (being) in Godís presence. How do we help children understand such confession? Maybe by thinking about the things that stand in the way of their other relationships?]

            ©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