Wild West fun in Orondo

Natalie McPherson on a horse being led by Pat McCall during the Wild West Adventures at Orondo Community Church. (Empire Press photo/Darlene Paterson)


By Darlene Paterson
Empire Press Correspondent

Wild West Adventures at Orondo Community Church on July 16-18 offered fun and excitement for elementary age kids.

About 20 volunteers transformed the building into a Wild West scene on Monday afternoon before the event.

Twenty-three children entered the building at 9 a.m. Tuesday morning, where they were checked in and assisted to their age group chuckwagons to meet group leaders and begin their day’s adventure.

Next they gathered at the front to sit on clean horse blankets for music and story hour.

A fun medley of action songs led by vocalists Willie McCuistion and Betsy Imer, guitarist Pat McCall and pianist Bob Johnson introduced the theme.

Following the music, Charlene Anderson presented a dramatically illustrated Bible story.

“The kids have been a pleasure,” Anderson said. “They have been so attentive. Watching their faces during the story presentation has been so precious.”

“I loved hearing the stories and watching people playing the different parts,” Natalie McPherson said. “And I loved that they told us how to know God better and talk to Him. You can just talk to Him when you’re in bed or anywhere,” she added.

Following the large group time, groups rotated to three activity areas — refreshments and crafts, games, and Wild West activities.

Symon Ball led various relays and other games, including a water balloon toss on the last day.

Karen Dobrasz and her craft helpers assisted the kids in decorating western bandannas, making cards, painting horseshoes and making gospel bracelets.

“I really liked doing the crafts,” Marshall Poush said. “All the crafts were really fun.”

McKenna Foreman said “I loved the crafts because we could be ourselves and embrace our favorite things that we like to do. My favorite craft was making bracelets. The bracelets tell us about God and how He can save us.”

At the Wild West area the children practiced roping, learned about horsemanship and participated in other western activities.

A highlight of the three-day camp was a mini rodeo on Wednesday, when everyone had an opportunity to ride horses provided by Steve and Nancy Bauer and the McCall family. Volunteers led the horses or rode with the children as each desired.

Many children expressed their joy about riding the horses. “I liked it when we got to ride horses named Spanky and Poppy,” Samantha Martin said. “They are both fast.”

On the last day of Wild West Adventures children presented a short program for their families, followed by a barbecue lunch in the church basement.

“This was a great opportunity for the young people in the Orondo area to come and have some fun, see some real farm animals, hear words of encouragement from adults who care about them and also to learn that the Lord Jesus wants to be an important part of their lives,” said Jack Anderson, registrar, PowerPoint operator and “jack of all trades.”

Many parents expressed thanks and commented on how much their children enjoyed the camp.

“We hope to do it again next year,” Anderson concluded.