A group of about 20 children sat in circles on the second to last day of Mariners Church’s day camp. The “Imagination Station” leader asked the kids, “Did you bring your imagination today?”

“No,” The kids yelled, drawing out the “o,” amused with their unplanned unanimity.

“I told you to bring it every day,” she said.

Then one child piped up. “I brought my imagination.”

It’s been a busy two weeks at Mariners Church this summer with more than 150 children coming in and out the doors for one of the two weeklong day camps the church offered.

Each day featured safari-themed activities in decorated rooms. Kids filed through a stairwell-turned-tree canopy made out of brown and green paper to move from one station to the next.

After hours of games, crafts and Bible stories, the children embarked on a field trip to places like the San Francisco Zoo or Sea Bowl Entertainment Center.

One of the day’s lessons was, “When life is sad, God is Good.” The religious adage opened up an opportunity for one volunteer, called a crew leader, to connect with the kids.

Jacquelyn Dellins heard from two of her students that their parents were divorced. One girl hadn’t seen her dad in a long time.

“They’re really strong kids,” she said. 

Kaitlin Gehret, the children ministry director, used big black gender reveal balloons as a final illustration of that day’s theme.

“We have gender-reveal balloons that are all black because sometimes life is sad and we can’t see the good,” she said. “(But) then we pop it and there’s confetti.”

The week concluded with the metaphorical confetti — five bounce houses and a barbecue. Socks and shoes were strewn about the parking lot as kids in white camp T-shirts jumped in the circus tent or regular bounce house, climbed through the obstacle course, glided down a huge slide or tried to sink trick shots in the basketball hoops.

“I’ve got the power,” one girl yelled arms raised high after sliding down the colorful polyester, while another child shouted “Incoming” following after her.

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