School holidays tend to be a dilemma for parents of children aged 7 to 11. They face this conundrum: who will watch over their kids now that they are out of school? What will the kids be doing with all that free time? Fortunately, this April 2011 school holidays; the St Mark’s CFC- Youth for Christ (YFC) group have a fun and holistic alternative to this problem.
For the two Tuesdays of the two-week holiday (April 19 and 26), the YFC held two separate activities to keep the kids busy. This was dubbed, the ‘Saint Mark’s School Holiday Programme’. Both events were held at Saint Mark’s Parish Centre as well as in the school.
On the first Tuesday, the participating kids were treated to a ‘Sports Fun Day’ where they burnt their energy playing sports such as basketball and football. A modest group of fourteen kids, from ages 9-11 showed up for the event. Despite being a sports-themed activity, the day still had emphasis on God. A custom of YFC is to begin the day with God and so as soon as registration closed, the participants went to hear Mass at the St. Mark’s Parish.
Four different talks on faith and values were also given by members of the YFC, activities were also given after every talk. The first talk was called “Trophy of Love”, which talks about the precious award that we have in our lives which is God’s love for us. After the talk the participants crafted their own trophy, giving it their own design. The second talk was entitled “Virtues of Victory”, which taught the children about the virtues needed to have success in life. Talk 3, entitled “Hurdling the Hurdles” taught the kids about overcoming any obstacle in their lives. For this talk, the kids had to list their fears and talk about how they can overcome these fears. And lastly, for the final talk which was called “Champs”, the kids were told that they are champions in their own way since they have God in their lives.
The day was blessed with beautiful weather which allowed outdoor games to be played. The kids burned their seemingly unlimited energy playing, while the adults were left on the sidelines catching their breath unable to keep up with the pace! But ultimately, the day ended well; the kids were treated to a day of Christian fun.
Then came the second week of the holidays; the first edition of the holiday program proved to be a success as the number of participants for the second week doubled to 28 children. The participants were left in awe at the sight of Superman, Batman, Nacho Libre and a range of different superheroes in the St. Mark’s Parish Center. It was Superheroes Day, and the YFC were dressed up as superheroes.
Similar to the Sports Fun Day, Superheroes Day also began with a Mass. Then four talks on faith, which were superhero-themed, were given by YFC members again.
Sandwiched between those talks were the games. From the Amazing Race, to a game called Tangled the kids spent their energy running around and pretending to be superheroes. The ‘Trust Walk’, a game wherein trust is vital, was the final game of the day. The children were blindfolded and had to pass through an obstacle course, they had to put their trust on a YFC leader without blindfold who acted as their guide.The adults present wanted to have some fun as well and Father ‘Ofa organized a ‘Song Contest’ for the kids. From a rap battle to singing the theme song of ‘Spongebob Squarepants’, it was a musical afternoon for the participants.
With the talks and the games, the children had fun and grew deeper in faith as well. But ultimately, the participants learned who the one, true superhero in our lives is: that is, God. The superhero who never fails his mission, and the superhero who looks after the whole world.The St. Mark’s CFC – Youth for Christ is the same youth group that ran the YFC entry camp last February at Willow Park, Eastern Beach. A total of 66 youths aged 13-18 participated in the camp. They intend to run another School Holiday Program for kids aged 7-11 in the second term school holidays so watch out for future announcements and be part of the fun!