Monday, June 25, 2012


June came in with a rush of long-postponed preparations. I was helping my sister provide the Primary 1 children's meetings at the Seventh-day Adventist campmeetings in Bozeman, MT. Now, I had never done any campmeeting work before, so I didn't completely know what I was in for, but I knew enough to know that I should have started preparing quite a while back. Alack and alas, I never figure that out until I've already passed the point of "enough time". In fact, it's far behind in my rear view mirror and I'm already rapidly approaching "there's no way".

We were doing a theme of "Truth Seekers", a program about how archaeology and science support the Bible and the literal Genesis account, so I needed to pull both science and biblical archaeology elements into the decorations. I started first with the backdrop for the archaeology room. I was envisioning a stone wall, something a little Indiana Jones-ish. I started with a plain tan sheet (Lesson Learned #1: You need two sheets for the big walls at campmeeting) and went to work with my spray paints.

A half an hour later, the stone wall was taking shape.

Now to add detail with my acrylic paints.....

Voila! Finished. Whew, now if we only had a program ready to go with the awesome stone wall. Making copies and gathering supplies isn't as much fun as painting, but little by little, the program content began to take shape. If only time weren't passing quite so quickly!

I got the basic shapes of all my props painted, and most of them finished with the spray painting before it was time to go. I'd rather have had them completely  finished, but I was out of time. Monday night and time to load up the car for the trip across Montana on Tuesday.

Bozeman, MT is a beautiful place, but unfortunately, someone, through a complete lack of foresight, has put it clear on the opposite side of the state. It takes 8 hours of solid driving to get there, through some very repetitive countryside. But at last we pulled into the driveway of Mount Ellis Academy, found out where our rooms were, and began to unload.

It wasn't until the next day that things in the rooms really began to take shape. The first meeting was Wednesday night, so life became a hurried countdown trying to finish everything by zero hour, but God blessed and we were ready for business by 7:00 PM.Fortunately, that was also the time for the first meeting to begin! Pretty cool how that worked out......

The Archaeology Dig Site, the room where we had Bible story,
History's Mysteries, and the skit using our willing volunteer offspring.

The ancient stone pottery are my favorite pieces,
though I'm also very partial to the scroll.

These pillars were fun to paint...sort of .
I used a board as my template, spraying dark first
and then light.

Each night we had a short skit set in a school room. Devon was
the only believer in Creation and got to present compelling
arguments for his case. Devon and arguing just go together like, well,  like
strawberries and ice cream.

Our science lab where we did activities and had a
science experiment every class. 

With three meetings a day, we barely had time to catch a spare breath, but it was lots of fun. Plus you get free food in the cafeteria. The kids really enjoyed it, and God helped everything to go smoothly, even though we had to make quite a few last second when our helpers and skit actors got stranded all day in Yellowstone with their youth group. They got to see more of Old Faithful than they ever wanted to!

It was bitter-sweet to come to the end of our time there in Bozeman, but I was ready for a break. Not so our attendees who kept saying they wished campmeeting were longer. All summer even. Are you trying to kill me!? I think 4 days is PLENTY! I glad we got the opportunity, and I'd definitely do it again. In a few decades when I'm rested up again.


  1. Tina, you did an awesome job! I would just love to have you living near me so I could have a crafting buddy! It would be loads of fun!

  2. Hi Tina, I'm a Sabbath school leader out in Maryland wanting to make a backdrop just like you did in the picture here. What fun to google and find your page as an inspiration. Thank you for posting. Did you spray paint the faux blocks and paint the vines on top? - if so what kind of paint did you use? I'm new to making backdrops and am not sure which materials I need - thanks in advance!