Music & Arts Camp Reflections 

July 1, 2015

As I close my eyes and visualize our Music and Arts Camp last week, I see images…Clayton Anderson and Lauren Castle arriving at 9 am, escorting 11 energy-filled children from Mary’s Place; 45 campers singing Halle, Halle, Halle together in the Chapel; Brandon and children acting out the parable of the lost sheep and the lost coin; treasure boxes in Jamie’s art class and remarkable portraits with Karen Fildes; movement, xylophones, drumming and chimes in Hildebrand with Ann Palmason and me; amazing snacks and meals prepared by Courtney and crew, smiles, hugs and ukuleles with Meggie. Wow! We had a lot going on!

In addition to discovering and celebrating our gifts in music and art, a central theme of the camp was “finding.” The third day, Brandon asked this question: “What have you found at Music and Art Camp?” Responses were heart-warming:  New friends, happiness, laughter, smiles, Art is fun, I can play the ukulele, kind teachers, good food, new family, new artistic friends, there are no mistakes in art!, sunshine, a song to sing and “I found JOY!” 

In all, forty-five students participated in camp. Thirty members and friends of Plymouth volunteered throughout the week including six young adults who returned to serve as shepherds, teachers and assistants. The energy, enthusiasm, ideas and good will of all our volunteers served to create a feeling of community working together for a common purpose…to be caring, loving and welcoming to the stranger.

The Nimo Patel concert was wonderful and our sharing celebration on Thursday was particularly moving. At the end, campers sang the chorus from Nimo’s song, Grateful. “All that I am, all that I see/all that I’ve been and all that I’ll ever be is a blessing/it’s so amazing, and I’m grateful for it all/for it all.”  The audience of volunteers, parents and friends responded to the children and sang, “All that you are, it’s you I see/all that you’ve been and all that you’ll ever be, is a blessing/it’s so amazing/and I’m grateful every day, every day.” 

I am grateful to the people of Plymouth for supporting this camp which brought together children from our own church, friends and families new to us, thirteen children and families from shelters and volunteers, ages 19 to 70. All of us were blessed by playing, working, singing and being together for an amazing four days. ­–Rosemary Hashimoto  



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