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Children coming to Baltimore for Big Tent this summer will get a sample of church camp. Plans are underway to offer a camp experience for ages 6 to 17.

“We’ll have arts and crafts, devotions, singing, and games. We will make sure we get some sunshine and fresh air,” said Colleen Earp, camp director. “We are working on plans for some rooftop s’mores. All of this will be in the Lord Baltimore Hotel where Big Tent is happening.”

Earp, who serves as director of Youth, Environment and Services Ministries with Camp Hanover, outside of Richmond, Virginia, says it is important for young people to be connected with Big Tent.

“This is an opportunity to meet a lot of kids who are growing up in or near church,” said Earp. “This is a way for them to experiment and learn about their own faith independent from family in whatever their church setting might be and bring some of the ideas from their experience to share with other kids too.”

Earp says she hopes young attendees will put faith in action.

“I hope they come away with some sense of their own understanding of their faith and I think it will fit nicely in the bigger picture of Big Tent. I know there are a lot of actions for families to be taking. We will run camp during plenary sessions, but it’s our hope kids will be with their families during worship and learning opportunities, community action events, and engagement in the community,” she said. “I think camp experience will be a really nice way to balance that and give them their own space to explore their faith and what it means to be a part of this thing we call church and be able to step out with their families and practice some of that in the community.”

In addition to children’s camp, plenaries, and worship, attendees will have the opportunity to see the community and justice work that is taking place, including a visit to The Center, a mission outreach of the Presbytery of Baltimore.

Big Tent will be held August 1–3. The theme is “Called to a Movement Beyond Institution.” Speakers and Bible leaders include Dr. William P. Brown, the Reverend Dr. Amaury Tañón-Santos, the Reverend Dr. Soong-Chan Rah, the Reverend Amantha Barbee, the Reverend Dr. Renita J. Weems, and the Co-Moderators of the 223rd General Assembly (2018), the Reverend Cindy Kohlmann and Ruling Elder Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri. 

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