Did you know that being out in Nature is good for your soul and your body. Being in Nature slows us down as we connect with God's creation. We are able to feel His presence and gain a better understanding of who God is when we encounter Him in the natural environment.
Our greatest teaching tool is our natural environment here at Bainskloof. The Bible is full of symbols and metaphors taken from nature. Jesus Christ used it to change peoples hearts so why shouldn't we follow in his footsteps.
We encourage you to make use of our environment and plan a few outdoor activities which you could use for Faith Formation. Hiking is a great physically active but could also be used as a key to unlock life skills and faith issues in a non treating , safe and peaceful environment.
You don't need to be a nature guru to use our environment in your talks with adults or kids. here are a few tips and guidelines.
1. Be prepared:
Do some homework about the area its Fauna and flora. Visit the area walk the trail before planning your camp. Engage this as a spiritual exercise, as a walking meditation or prayer. Ask God to give you ideas and understanding. Jot down the ideas and things you learned on this journey.
How do animals experience the area? What can you learn about the place from its flora? Where and how do animals live? How are animals, flora, soil and water system interrelated, if at all? What effect does alien vegetation have on our natural environment. How does this relate to sin and sinful behavior.? We just had a veld fire, how does it influence the fauna. How do we experience bad experiences in our life. What makes us grow spiritually is it not hardship. Yet nature rejoices after a fire because it brings new life.
a Treasure hunt is a great activity. Natural objects such as leaves, stones, litter , plants with a fragrance and objects with texture could be collected. Everybody has a smart phone and it could be used to collect photos of different objects. At base camp these object could be used and asked what story are they telling about us .......... PS Never let them pick flowers or collect live creatures.
Let your participants use their 5 senses touch, smell, feel, hear and taste. PS Never let them taste something if you cannot identify the plant or know what it is used for. Bugu and Pigs ear are safe to taste and eat. Aloes are also plants one could use to explain healing properties . Who is our healer Christ? The plant is just the key to unlock your message.
Solo's in nature is a great activity. To reflect on what nature has to say about God and what are the lessons one could learn through His creation. What about using creative activities such as stories, poems and art to reflect.
Camp Program : tips and ideas
Matthew 6:26-29New International Version (NIV)
26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.