This is the fifth in a series of posts highlighting hunger-related activities that happened over the summer at ELCA Outdoor Ministry locations with the help of Education/Advocacy grants from ELCA World Hunger. The following is from Pine Lake Camp in Waupaca, Wisconsin.
Crossways Camping Ministries, located at three sites in northeastern Wisconsin, brings people together in Christ so that lives are changed and communities enhanced. Campers between third grade and high-school grow in their relationship with God and learn to incorporate Christian principles into their daily lives. This summer we have two hunger education focuses. The first focus is to learn about hunger by discussing our own eating habits. The second focus is to learn about hunger as we raise money to combat hunger in other countries.
At Pine Lake Camp we use our World Awareness time to share the importance of making responsible food choices. Counselors lead campers through one of three games which we created and/or adapted from other resources. One opportunity is Food Mile Rummy. Campers play a traditional rummy card game collecting one card of each food group, as well as a card indicating the number of miles the food has travelled, and a card indicating the number of fossil fuels used in transportation. The winning camper is the one with a card in each category, the lowest miles travelled, and the lowest fossil fuels used. Discussion after the game focuses on ways we can reduce the amount of miles our food travels, including, growing our own, and buying food in season. Campers connect this conversation with our “local food chalk board” hung in the dining hall. Here campers learn that some of the vegetables on the salad bar are from our camp garden and much of the dairy they are eating is from a nearby dairy.
Another game the campers can play helps them understand the balance between their needs and wants. Campers choose pictures of things they own or value, like ipods and CD’s. Then they choose what animal they’d like to buy for a family in need in another country. The objective is to balance the cost of animal the with the proper amount of items they would need to give up in order to buy the animal. Campers discuss how much we have in comparison to people in other countries, as well as their own definition of need and want and how they can change their lifestyle so that others may gain from their wealth.
Our second focus this summer is to encourage campers to raise money for ELCA Good Gifts – God’s Global Barnyard. During Mission Project Time campers first learn from our international counselors. Then they learn about God’s Global Barnyard and how buying animals for people in other countries helps to combat hunger. To facilitate learning the campers gather in small groups with information about animals that can be purchased through ELCA Good Gifts. They design a skit to share with the rest of the campers how a cow, for example, can help nourish a family and community in another country. Then on Thursday the campers can donate money from their canteen cards towards the mission project. At closing worship on Friday parents and campers alike find out how much money was raised that week and what animals will be purchased with the money. As a way to tie into our summer Bible study we’ve put up a huge ark in the chapel to which we adhere the animals purchased throughout the summer. The weeks we’ve been able to purchase a cow for $500 have been particularly exciting, but we’ve celebrated every animal with lots of applause. We expect that our focus on hunger education this summer will be change lives and enhance communities once campers leave camp.
Crossways – Pine Lake Camp