By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT — It was Christmas in July for youths at St. Anthony Parish. About 20 grade school through high school youths attended a week-long art and music camp, which had a Christmas theme one of the days.
Kim Noftsker, the parish’s music director, thinks the fine arts are important and are not the focus of many summer programs. “I wanted to integrate the arts.” So she organized the art and music camp for July 13-17.
Volunteers designed the program since they hadn’t seen anything similar. Each day had a different theme. The half-day programs featured a mix: an art project, singing, a play performance, a reading and a guest visitor. Themes for the week were Just say no to sin (story of Noah); Jonah and the Whale; Christmas in July (the Nativity); music day/drum circle (David and Goliath); and talent show (Daniel and the Lion’s Den).
On July 15 the program began with the reading of the Nativity. Students made a Christmas ornament of a musical treble clef inscribed with the words “I will make music to the Lord.” Students added images of a star, cross and infant Jesus to the ornament. Students chose their own parts for a Nativity play. They had a Christmas sing along, played pass the snowman game and participated in Christmas karaoke.
Brianna Gonzalez said she learned about the program because she sings in the youth choir. “I like to sing and thought it would be fun.” Her favorite activity was performing in the play of Jonah and the Whale.
Sam Hancock said that play was her favorite activity as well. She portrayed God.
Noftsker said she was happy to have about 20 youths attend each day and hopes to open it to more youths next year and make it ecumenical.