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Little faces crowd around the table, counting together as drops fall into the Mason jar. “62, 63, 64…”
The water balloons over the rim. Sixty-five drops ago, Flo asked the kids if the jar was full. “Yes!” they answered. But drop after drop lands on the surface, and still the water doesn’t overflow.
One boy leans closer, eyes wide. “102, 103, 104…” Finally, one drop too many hits the surface, and water spills down the side.
“Now you get a turn,” Flo says as she hands each kid a penny and a medicine dropper of their own. They count aloud, giggling as the water bubbles up and then spills over, often staying together even as it falls off the penny.
“How many drops fit on your penny?” Flo asks when they’ve finished.
“I got 35 drops,” someone says.
“Did you think a penny could hold that much water?” The kids shake their heads. “Do you remember what special power water has to make it stick together?”
An arm shoots up. “It’s cohesive!”
“I wonder what would happen to the water in the world if God hadn’t designed it to stick together?” Flo then reminds the kids of the Creation Care Camp verse:
What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, with Wisdom at your side, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations. -Ps. 104:24 (The Message)
From the cohesiveness of water to the dance honeybees use to communicate to the birdcalls in our backyard trees, we are surrounded by a world that is wildly wonderful. Psalm 104 invites us to slow down long enough to see God at work in the world. It invites us to wonder.
At A Rocha, we see care for creation as a worshipful response to the God who created and loves all things. Our hope is to help Christians to take practical action to love and care for their places, and we believe that in order to love a place, you need to know it. Wonder is part of that knowing.
It’s what I experience when I recognize Tennessee’s native river oats on a horseback ride through the woods or first identify a Carolina wren calling, “Teakettle, teakettle, teakettle.” The more we learn about and pay attention to our places, the more deeply we care for them, and the more we stand in awe of and are grateful to the God who made them.
Through Creation Care Camp, kids are invited into this kind of wonder. Science experiments, Nature Breaks, craft projects, and games help them see, hear, touch, taste, and smell the wonder of the world God has made.
As they extract DNA from a strawberry, dissect owl pellets, and close their eyes and listen to the birds around them, kids learn to see God as the maker, sustainer, and lover of all that he made—from soil and water to plants to bugs to animals to people.
And, of course, Creation Care Camp includes plenty of opportunities to get dirty. After a few more words about surface tension, Flo collects the pennies and droppers, puts them under the table, and pulls out a bowl of garden dirt.
“Do you like to play outside?” she asks. “I wonder if your clothes or hands ever get dirty?” A few kids giggle as they nod. “Sometimes, scientists say that soil is alive.” She holds up a teaspoon of soil. “There can be up to one billion bacteria in a teaspoon of soil. Isn’t that amazing?”
The kids will mix soil with water and use it to paint a picture, but not before marveling at its intricacies and the ways it supports life.
“We can thank God for holding the earth together and keeping it healthy,” Flo says as she closes the activity. “We can praise him for the beauty we see in the soil and even in the sand and the diatoms all the way at the bottom of the sea. What a wonderful world God made, and what a gift that he shares it with us!”
Year One of Wild Wonder, the new Creation Care Camp curriculum from A Rocha USA, is now available. Learn more here (http://arocha.us/creation-care-camp).