Craft Camp is an at-home, weeklong event offered by Gaines United Methodist Church, Cincinnati, in the Ohio River Valley District. Upon registration, children ages 7-12 receive a kit that includes one craft per day to be completed.
When Gaines was awarded a grant from a local organization, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) component was added. This year, forensic science is part of the camp kit.
The kits allow students to work at their own pace at home and share completed projects with the coordinators by sending pictures.
Craft camp is open to children of the church, the community and the neighborhood school. “We met with the administration of the local grade school to invite students in that age group to participate,” said Yolonda Evans, a camp coordinator. “They had about 200 eligible students.”
For Evans her calling is grounded in Exodus 31:3-5, NRSV: “And I have filled him with divine spirit, with ability, intelligence, and knowledge in every kind of craft, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold, silver, and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood in every kind of craft.”
Evans, a jewelry-maker and crafter, said, “God gave us all talent to be creative; some of us don’t know what it is unless we are introduced to it. This is my opportunity to share with others the gift of making jewelry and other crafts.”
Last year, almost 20 children participated in the event. This year, camp leaders expect to double that participation.