First Presbyterian’s Summer Mission Camp spreads love throughout community

Katie Culmo, Faith Herring and Ella Turner stuff teddy bears. Photo submitted by Mary Thacker.

(Rockwall) July 2, 2012 – Spreading God’s love throughout the community was the goal of the First Presbyterian Church of Rockwall’s Summer Mission Camp during the week of June 26.

Each morning Pastor Cheryl Taylor presented a children’s moment using scriptures to illustrate the objective of the day’s activities. Then RCISD music teacher, Heather Fisher, led the group in singing songs that would be used later in the week to cheer the elderly.

On Monday, 19 children, four teen helpers, and five chaperones loaded into cars and drove to the Rockwall Boys & Girls Club where the two groups worked together to stuff teddy bears and hand-tie flannel mufflers. (The fleece scarves and stuffed animals were pre-cut by the congregation of First Presbyterian Church in the weeks leading up to the event.)

Afterward, the mission camp kids enjoyed some sun and fun at Harry Myers splash park and created three paw print stepping stones. After returning to the church to be picked up by their parents, a few children remained behind to hand-paint some ceramic tiles for the Rockwall Library.

On Tuesday, the teddy bears that were made with the help of the Boys & Girls Club were delivered to Rockwall Fire Station #2 to be given out to children involved in emergencies, along with some chocolate chip cookies for Firemen Tony Raymond and Michael Caffey who took the group on a tour of the station and its vehicles.

Later, the children returned to the church where they assembled 60 Shine & Shave Kits containing washcloths, toothbrushes, toothpaste, shaving gel, razors, soap, washcloths, combs, and deodorant. Many of the supplies were donated by local stores or individuals, including: CVS Pharmacy, Walmart, the Holiday Inn of Royse City, Dr. Arthur Kuhlman, Dr. Bart Miller, and Dr. Karen Williamson.

Pastor Cheryl Taylor and her husband David Moore will deliver the kits and mufflers to Stewpot Ministries in Dallas. The homeless will enjoy the warmth of the mufflers during the cold winter months or they can roll up the mufflers to use as pillows during the summer months. The kits will be used by the homeless in preparation for job interviews so that they can look their best for potential employers.

On Wednesday, the children traveled to Wylie to tour InSync Exotics Wildlife Rescue and Education Center, a sanctuary for exotic cats located in Wylie. The group donated the three stepping stones they had created earlier in the week, along with a generous check and practical supplies like: bleach, trash bags, paper towels, and detergent which were given by the congregation of First Presbyterian Church to support the efforts of the sanctuary which provides a loving home for many abused tigers, lions, cougars, cheetahs, and other large cats.

Thursday, the children delivered red, white, and blue hand-painted ceramic tiles to the Rockwall Library. The tiles will be presented to the new Americans who have passed their citizenship exams. While at the library, the mission camp kids enjoyed watching the entertaining and educational Professor Brainous program. Afterward, the group finished up the day with bowling at Shenaniganz.

On Friday, the children dropped by The Arbor House and sang to the residents of the Memory Care Unit. The songsters were then treated to a pool and pizza party at a church member’s home.

Written and submitted by Mary Thacker. 

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