The Gift - Itís Time

Day Six - 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: The final campfire of the week is taking place and 1, 2, & 3 are sitting next to each other. This is, in actuality, also the last campfire of the "real" week of camp, of which this drama is a part. Put it at the transition point between the fun and the serious portions of the program (perhaps after a snack has been shared). The gift-wrapped box is hanging from a tree, in such a way as it can be taken down during the campfire (not during this drama). Dramatists need to speak louder and clearer than they might in another setting - the sound is not "enclosed" as in an indoor or pavilion setting, and the noise of the campfire can overwhelm. Try to sit facing everyone (so sound is not lost for those behind), where all can see you.
                Preface with reading of 1 Corinthians 12:12-13 (both to set the theme and to quiet the group)

1 - I really like these campfires.

3 - Theyíve always been my favorite part of camp.

2 - Ever since you were in "diaper camp," right?

3 - Yup. Not that I remember being here then. But I do recall sitting in my Momís lap when I was about 2 or 3. All her campers were around us, watching the fire and singing.

1 - Thereís just something about a fire.

2 - Too bad this is the last campfire.

1 - Iím not ready to go home yet.

3 - Iím never ready to go home.

2 - Maybe youíve never been home. Maybe, like Tarzan, you were raised here by wild animals.

3 - Funny!

2 - Well, I donít know about you two, but Iím ready to go home.

1 - Havenít you had fun here?

2 - Yeah.

3 - Donít you like it here?

2 - Sure.

1 - So, why do you want to go home?

2 - I didnít say, "I want to go home." I said, "Iím ready to go home," or at least almost.

1 - Huh?

2 - Itís been a good week. I like camp. It was a little hard at first getting to know people, but itís been fine since,

1 - Hey, what happened with those girls with an "attitude" in your cabin?

2 - What "attitude?"

3 - Guess that turned out okay.

1 - Must have.

2 - Overall, this has been an A#1 week. I think Iíll come back next year.

1 - So, why are you ready for it to be over?

2 - I just am. All good things come to an end.

3 - You sound like my mother.

2 - Hey, thatís the way it is.

1 - Thereís some girls in my K-group crying already. Arenít you sad?

2 - Are you saying only girls cry?

1 - Iím not gonna cry over leaving.

3 - What a he-man!

2 - To answer your question - yes, Iím sad itís about over, but Iím ready to go home.

1 - Iím not, or at least not yet. Itís been great living 24 hours a day with everybody here.

3 - Yeah, at school itís only 6Ĺ hours, just on weekdays.

2 - You want to live at school?

3 - No, but wouldnít it be fun to be together with your friends, without the classwork, all the time?

2 - I donít think so. Doesnít the Bible say that for everything there is a time?

1 - Now you sound like my preacher.

2 - I think it would get old really quick to be with my friends all the time.

3 - Are you saying, then, that being with us all week is getting old?

2 - I havenít been with you all week. And the people Iíve been with a lot here werenít my friends, at least not at first - just like you.

1 - So, weíre your friends now, right?

2 - Of course! Youíre going to write me, arenít you?

1 - Is it okay for a boy to write a girl?

2 - Youíd better!

3 - Same goes for me.

1 - Sure.

2 - You bet! Listen, I know why havenít done much stuff together, since we werenít in the same groups...

3 - Donít forget the pool.

1 - Or 4-square, or...

2 - Except for that stuff, we havenít been together much. Still, Iíve enjoyed your friendship.

3 - Me, too. Thanks for pushing me to use my gift for telling jokes.

2 - Yeah, and for encouraging me when I was nervous about reading in front of everyone.

1 - Same here. It almost feel like you see things in me I canít see.

3 - Thatís what weíre here for.

2 - Other people here have also seen stuff in me that I hadnít.

1 - It sounds weird, but itís like Iím not same person I was last Sunday.

3 - Thatís funny, you donít look any different.

1 - Maybe not, but I feel different.

2 - I know what you mean. I feel like some things about me have changed, too.

3 - Is that why youíre ready to go home?

2 - Maybe, a little.

1 - You want to change back to the way you were before you came?

2 - No, itís just good to go home and see if I really have changed.

1 - Do you think our parents will be able to tell?

3 - I donít know.

2 - Maybe thatís why they wanted us to come.

1 - You mean they didnít want to just get rid of us for a week?

3 - If Mom does this year what she did last, sheíll be crying when comes to get me. It was so embarrassing!

2 - I thought your Mom was a counselor.

3 - Yeah, but last year was the first time we didnít come to camp the same week. She missed me.

1 - That should make you feel good.

3 - In front of everyone?

1 - Good point. (pause)

2 - You know, they still havenít shown us what is inside that box.

3 - The box? Oh, the gift-wrapped box!

1 - Maybe itís like a piŮata, full of candy.

3 - Nah, candy is a no-no here.

2 - They did say at the beginning of the week that everyone would go home with a gift.

1 - I wonder what they meant.

3 - Maybe weíll finally find out. Shhh! Things are starting back up again.

                At this point the leader begins, and the line between drama and reality blurs. This becomes the more solemn part of the final campfire of the actual camp. Have plenty of singing of softer, more reflective songs. As part of a final "talk," have the gift box taken down. Ask the children if any have been wondering what was in it (hopefully, none have been brazen enough to take down the box earlier in the week - but be prepared if they have). Recall, with them, how earlier you had mentioned that each would go home with a gift. Now is the time for it to be shared. Open the box and share the gift(s). (Suggestion - donít put up the box youíre using this night until right before the campfire. This is the only one with anything inside.)
                Now, the million dollar question - what is inside the box? Perhaps when the counselors gather before the week begins, you can decide together (and commit to keeping it a secret). One idea is to have a mirror in the bottom. When the box is passed, each child looks in to see that they, themself, are the gift. Have they ever thought of themselves in that way before? This option might be better for younger children. Older children and youth might find this a disappointment. If you use the mirror idea, some kind of lighting might be advisable, for the campfire setting may be dark.
                Another option might be to have envelopes inside for every young person. These may contain notes from their counselors or others with positive thoughts concerning this person, perhaps telling what has been appreciated about them, possibly stating a gift seen in them. These encouragements need to be real, and not forced. Likewise, donít try to take the Biblical lists of gifts of the Spirit and fit each kid with a gift, like pegs in a pegboard. It doesnít work that way. Furthermore, spiritually these campers are at vastly different places, both in terms of their development and their church background. Be creative in how you do this. Directors, counselors, instructors can all be involved. Perhaps, during a rest period on day 4, the counselor can ask the campers to take out papers and write at least 1 gift/positive quality etc. they see in each of their fellow campers (the smaller the grouping, the better). The director(s) can be the clearinghouse for these collected items, put into envelopes with a camperís name upon each, and placed in the box.
                Another suggestion offered by a co-worker: "My idea for what to put in the box beside the mirror (or maybe in addition to the mirror and pass it twice) is tiny wrapped boxes or foam blocks, maybe only an inch or two square. These are explained to be reminders (to take home) of the gifts campers have to share with others. It could have a tag on it saying this. After the last camper takes a "gift" out of the box, they pass the box back the way it came so everyone can see the mirror inside. With the mirror is a little sign that says "God's gift to you." (Some junior kids are very literal and might not make the connection without the sign.) Oh, another thought: what if the tiny wrapped blocks were wrapped in plain colored paper? Then, just before the campers go to bed, they write on each side of the block what they tink their gifts are, to share at home?"

            ©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