Valley church opens doors to kids of all religions

July 26, 2013 4:53:59 PM PDT
A Valley church has opened its doors to kids of every religion, and even those who practice no religion at all.

It is a different take on the traditional summer day camp. The camp takes place at a church that welcomes every religion and none at all.

" First we have circle where we all go into the sanctuary and talk and we each get divided up by age and go with our groups and talk with our groups," Lakota Wakely a 10-year-old Chalice Day Camp participant said.

Students at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Fresno, tackle some pretty tough topics at Chalice Camp.

"This year we're learning about sexism and racism and classism and how everyone should be equal," Lakota said.

The week-long summer camp for elementary aged kids is working with all new curriculum. The goal is to help kids respond to some of the world's most compelling social issues like identity and justice.

"The seven principles are each person is important, be kind in all you do, we're free to live together and search for what is true, all people have a voice and we care for the earth," said Jennifer Kranzke, Chalice Camp Director.

Using a variety of activities like storytelling, games and classroom instruction, the kids learn to connect and appreciate diversity as well as articulate their beliefs.

"Racism is the one I learned most about because I didn't know people were getting treated that badly around different cultures," said Rosemarie Richardson a 9-year-old Chalice Day Camp participant said.

Chalice Camp aims to give students the tools to provide social leadership in their schools and churches. They also aim to help them build a stronger sense of community.

"We draw from many faiths, Christianity, Buddhism, Islam no one is turned away and no one's beliefs are turned away," Kranzke said.


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