Ridgeview Christian Church spent last week helping kids in grades one through six, develop their own musical, while teaching them about God and the story of the Ten Commandments. The students presented their homemade musical this past Sunday, Aug 6.

Ridgeview Christian Church  spent last week helping kids in grades one through six, develop their own musical, while teaching them about God and the story of the Ten Commandments. The students presented their homemade musical this past Sunday, Aug 6.

Tracey Bloch, one of the directors of Ridgeview’s new musical theatre camp, said they put the camp together in order to reach kids outside of traditional summer church programs.

“Vacation Bible School (VBS) is extremely popular, especially in our area,” Tracey said. “I feel like in the past couple of years it’s been kids going from one VBS to another, and you get the same group of kids shuttling from one program to another instead of meeting other needs.”

Tracey explained that in VBS, “it’s pretty traditional to separate kids by their age group,” and kids generally remain in these groups as they shuffle from activity to activity.

“They’re not really mixing with everybody,” she added. “There’s a reason for that and that’s good, but this gives us a chance to have everybody together. My daughter is making friends with fifth graders, which wouldn’t have happened at VBS.”

Tracey said that having kids from different age groups is one of the biggest advantages of the camp, as younger kids have an opportunity to grow and learn from older peers.

“I’m not the one at school when they’re having a bad day, their friends are,” said Tracey. “If they have an older person in the hallway that they know, who see’s them, that’s huge. It means way more to be in a relationship with a kid that’s older than you, than in a relationship with an adult. They know what you’re doing, they know your life and your struggles.”

Tracey added that rather than competing with Vacation Bible School programs, she and the rest of the her team wanted to make something that adds to kid’s summer experience and reaches them on another level.

“It’s a little more personalized,” she said. “Instead of giving kids an experience of Lava Lava Island, or Under the Sea, we focus more on the kids and teaching them individually through what we’re presenting onstage.”

“We are trying to teach them that church is a safe place and you can have a relationship with Jesus,” Tracy added prior to the show. “Our musical is the Ten Commandments, and we’re not just teaching the songs, we’re discussing them . . . you’re not looking for perfection, you’re looking for the content of their hearts and what you’ve been teaching them, pouring out of them.”

“If it’s not perfect, that’s fine, because they’ve learned something,” Tracey said, “and they have a chance to stand on that stage and present what they’ve learned.”

The kids spent the week designing and building their own props and set for the show, which was presented in the sanctuary of Ridgeview Christian Church. With the camp successfully putting on their own musical, Tracey said in the future they’d like to explore other camp themes to offer local kids. Tracey listed some thoughts the team has had, such as sports or science or even secret agent camps.

“I would hope in the future, when we start expanding these kinds of programs, to not replace VBS but rethink how we do it,” said Tracey.