I was asked to help with decorations and this year's theme used the Wilderness Escape curriculum from group.com. It was all about Moses and the Israelites in the Wilderness.
The first thing I did was make the Registration Table a little more exciting to drum up some enthusiasm in anticipation for Day Camp.
Then Day Camp week arrived. We decorated the foyer area where the kids arrived so they'd be greeted with a glimpse of the theme. It makes a big difference, doesn't it?
The doors led to our Israelite camp, so I made a sign and hung some fabric over the doors. Some of the boys made a directional sign (broom handle in a bucket of sand with cardboard arrows) pointing to the Promised Land, Egypt, Mount Sinai, and the Red Sea. The church already owned the working waterfall which was reminiscent of Moses getting the water out of the rock, so we just jazzed it up with some more plants from the storage room. I strung some rope around the plants and added a drop cloth on the floor to discourage kids from climbing on the fountain.
The campers then were assigned to one of 12 tribes and gathered at their tent in the gym. We already had the tents from a previous year when we had a western theme, so that was easy. I made banners using kraft paper and a different color of duck tape for each tribe. We also stuck the duck tape on the floor to delineate each tribe's area.
The opening program took place in the main sanctuary every day and we made a stage set to look like mountains with a tent in the foreground. I didn't get a very good picture of it, but here it is in action.
We had the 8-foot backdrop boards and painted them to look like a wilderness mountain. The little parts of the mountain that stick up above the boards were made from foam insulation board. The boards were set on some risers to give them more height, and we covered the risers with drop cloths. The tent was made from an EZ-UP tent covered with drop cloths. Again, we raided the storage room for palm trees and set those around, and made a little campfire with real logs and rocks.
The Bible story was supposed to take place in Moses' tent, so I transformed one of the nurseries so it felt like you were in a tent. This was a lot more time consuming than I thought it would be.
One of the days, the campers crossed the Red Sea. This was a fun project to figure out. We used two rolling room dividers to make the Red Sea in the hallway. When the campers first approached, they saw the land and and sky (re-used from the Registration table) and the blue fabric was spread across the hallway like it was the water. Then Moses parted the sea (some helpers rolled the one room divider across the hall) and the campers walked between the room dividers covered with blue tarps made to look like walls of water. Also, as the room divider was pulled across the hall, a drop cloth was pulled along with it, creating the "dry ground" between the walls of water.