I know most of us think of miracles as involving angels and rescues, close escapes from danger, or the curing of hopeless diseases. I think miracles like these still occur, but there's one miracle that takes place involving group of children and adults who come together mornings during a week in late July or early August. What they do and what they accomplish is truly miraculous.
I'm talking about Summer Music Camp at Manassas Baptist Church, now in its twenty-fourth year, directed by my wife, Becky Verner. This year there are about ninety campers and forty-two faculty members. During the week the children learn a musical which they will perform memorized, complete with choreography and drama. There is Musikgarten for ages four through kindergarten involving 30 children. Students in grades one through six also experience crafts, puppets, choreography, hand chimes, drama, and instrument demonstrations from a variety of musicians. This year the instruments included oboe, clarinet, a flute, trombone, trumpet, saxophone and bassoon.
The people who work in this camp, year after year and decade after decade, are a joy to watch. Becky has led state-level children's choirs and teaches in the Baptist state music camp. She works magic with groups of children. Bruce Snyder, a retired Prince William G/T teacher, shares his directing and drama insights with a group of students. Kathi Crowder works out engaging and memorable choreography with the children. Sue Ellen Kinser leads the Musikgarten class. These are only four of dozens of adults who share their gifts of working with children and teaching them not only about music but also about cooperation and hard work. Their love for their charges is manifestly evident.
The faculty this year included Cheryl Bolt, Connor Bolt, Jeremy Bolt, Trey Boltz, Susan Briscoe, Taylor Briscoe, Jen Crowder, Kathi Crowder, Amandia Daigneault, Marie Egeland, Katina Gerstein, Joanne Gonzalez, Callie Hazlett, Kimberley Hill, Michael Hill, Sue Ellen Kinser, Onie Libeau, Jean Carol Nelson, Glenna Ohlms, Caden Palmer, Joy Peters, Aaron Pritchard, Pat Quinones, Amani Redic, Bridget Rose, Kristen Rose, Pam Rose, Sarah Scott, Bruce Snyder, Michelle Taylor, Norma Thompson, Amy Verner, Becky Verner, Mettie Wallace.
Other people involved with the camp were some Week of Hope participants, Curtis Bueno, John Button, Joshua Pankey, Mike Varnadore, Meryl Franck, Lois Thorpe, Michelle Taylor, Marge Danner, Kimberley Hill, Mary Staggs, Michelle Taylor, Judy Miller, Joy Morgan, camper parents, grandparents, friends and relatives, the MBC Ministry Team, support staff, and custodial staff. It takes a village to work a miracle.
The final program in which the campers show what they've learned is tonight at 7:30 PM in the sanctuary of Manassas Baptist Church, 8800 Sudley Road, Manassas VA. They will perform the musical Heroes of the Faith. If you have the opportunity, come witness a miracle taking place.