By Claire Walters, Summer Camp Intern
Welcome to Footprints, Gravatt’s faith formation program. This year our Footprints program is being led by Lay Chaplain Etta Gantt. Etta, with the help and guidance from Father John Bethell, has prepared a summer's worth of activities for our campers to experience. Cool fact about Etta: Last summer she was selected by her peers as the Female Staffer of the Year. What a great honor! I was able to sit down with Etta and ask her a few questions about this awesome program!
Q: This summer’s Footprints theme is based on children’s stories. What are these stories and why are they important to the program?
A: The first day we read the story of The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein which focuses on how we all have a place in God’s kingdom and how there is a specific path that we are on, and coming to Camp Gravatt is part of that path. The second day we read Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister and this story is about loving others, so we have paired up with Camp Honey Creek in Georgia and we wrote letters to them to do something nice for another camp. The third day we read Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney and it’s about how much we love God, but no matter what he loves us more and his love is unconditional. On the fourth day we read Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes and this story focuses on how we are all unique and we are all part of God’s masterpiece and we are all created perfectly. The last day is The Giving Tree and it relates to giving back to camp so the campers get to help set up for Eucharist in different cool ways.
Q: What is your favorite part about Footprints?
A: Seeing the relationships between the counselors and the campers. I like to set up the activities so the counselors get to facilitate the conversation and strengthen the relationships with their campers, and I just love watching that happen.
Q: What is Footprints main goal?
A: I think Footprints’ main goal is to not force any ideas onto campers, but get them thinking about their own faith and what it means to them and even though it will vary, it doesn't matter as long as they get the chance to get thinking about it.
Q: What should the campers take away from this program? Can they use what they learned in their own communities?
A: I hope that campers can learn all the different types of love whether it be loving yourself, loving others, loving God, and realizing God’s love for you and taking all that knowledge back into their communities at home.
Now that we have a grasp about why Footprints is so important in our Camp Community, Etta was able to answer some questions that will help you get to know her better!
Q: It is known that you are extremely talented in the art of friendship bracelet making. What is your favorite bracelet making technique?
A: Bracelet making is all about the 4-Knots and P-Knots. My favorite technique is diamond-X because you can go anywhere with that and you can make any kind of bracelet with little diamonds or big diamonds and the X’s make it fun because you can change directions mid-bracelet so that’s probably my favorite I would say.
Q: Last summer you were asked to do magic tricks at almost every meal, what is your favorite magic trick that was performed? What do you think the campers enjoyed the most?
A: I would say my specialty is mind reading, and there are two different ways you can do that. There is the crayon trick, which is where the camper picks out a crayon and you guess the color - not gonna tell you how I figured out that one! And the second trick is guessing a number that they keep in their head and the answer is always four so it always works.
Q: As the assistant nurse you get to hang out in Gravatt’s new Byrd Health Lodge quite a bit, what is your favorite thing about this new building at camp?
A: My favorite part is the front porch and the rocking chairs on it because you can see everything from the front porch and you always know what’s going on.