What do you do?


The scenario:
You and a few adults are leading a camping trip with a group of seventh-graders. While traveling to your destination the inevitable comes up: “Are we there yet?” and “I’ve got to go to the bathroom!” “No, we’re not there” and “Why didn’t you go when we stopped at. . . .” are the just as inevitable replies. You stop at the next rest area.

You notice another group of adults and youth are there, as well. After having taken care of “necessities” and allowing for some leg-stretching, you continue on your way. Arriving at the remote, woodsy campsite you selected, setting up camp begins. In the distance, you hear a commotion and decide to “check it out.” It’s the group from the rest area. They, too, are on an extended camping trip.

Over a period of some days you meet and greet one another, have cookouts hosted by each group, and play activities. Also, you learn that one group is Catholic and one Protestant. You begin to hear, learn from within your own group, statements made about the other one that are simply false or uncharitable or ones that you wonder about yourself.

Now, the adults have been, after the campers have settled in for the night (like I said this is a scenario!), hosting one another around their campfire. Over toasted marshmallows and maybe a little libation, the adults begin to talk about what the campers have been saying. The discovery is made that each group has some misconceptions or false ideas about the other one. Jointly, you decide to address this in some way, realizing this could be a “teaching moment” for all concerned.

What do you do?


Teach the Truth. Correct the wrongs of the children (that’s how they learn).


while sitting around the camp fire, have both groups engage in a Q & A chat. Keep it friendly, roast marshmellows and stuff.

Let the children ask/answer questions when ever possible, let this be THIER learning experience. Adults moderate ONLY when a question cannot be answered by a child.

Remember…Keep the evening friendly and fun.


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