What a wonder to see. City kids in their trash bag rain gear marching through the woods. Destination? Who cares, they are out of the classroom. It’s really raining hard when they join me at the pond. I introduce the seine nets and show some samples of what they might find.
Let the discovery begin.
“There’s something crawling in my net.”
“Well, put it into the sample bucket.”
“You touch it, I’m not touching that thing.” ”
What is it?”
So I start to make some observations; “See those eyes, can you see the wings developing…in a week or two these will be gorgeous acrobatic dragon flies buzzing the pond.”
“That’s cool”, I hear.
It’s not long and the bucket is full of insect nymphs, tadpoles and water beetles. One of those beetles I’ve never seen before. Handling creatures becomes second nature – the yuck factor is gone. Rain? Forgotten. Wet shoes? The wetter the better to find creatures. Mud? Its a gift to a child on an adventure.
Engaged in the discovery, the kids are soon involved with me in conversation. All it takes is a few “O Wow’s” and “cool discovery” or “I knew you could do it”. The kids felt like they accomplished something and so did I. It’s why I got into outdoor ministry. To immerse kids into wonders of creation. To introduce them to the creator who takes a personal interest in their lives. And give them individually affirming words so that that might hear from me the hope of the gospel.
Tomorrow I take my daughter back to camp. This time as a summer camp counselor. She is her daddy’s girl; she loves camp and touching lives in ministry. I hope her summer is as awesome as my glorious rainy day with kids down at the pond. (I get to do it again tomorrow too!) 🙂 Any day with kids outdoors is a good day.