Happiness is cheap. It can be purchased in a store, experienced at an event, or collected in a lottery. It’s also temporal. It lasts as long as the purchase, the moment, or however long the money that provided it lasts. Joy, however, is felt in the soul. When true joy is obtained, it makes its way into how we think or feel and is manifested in our bodies and how we express ourselves. It can even change our whole experience from that of death to life.
“You have turned for me my mourning into dancing; you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
Psalm 30:11-12, the theme verse for Camp Skillz Week #2
That was the goal of the “Funktafied” week at Camp Skillz; to tap into the joy that we can experience from God and express it through music, dancing, and singing! When joy meets singing and dancing, it’s a power-packed experience!
Music is a universal language that all peoples and cultures have and can understand. It is the way in which we can express our emotions and shared experiences. Go anywhere in the world and there is some form of creative art in song, dance, and music. Camp Skillz campers were given many opportunities to express the joy they feel this past week.
They were able to do this in a recording studio where they wrote and recorded their own group songs. In another workshop, they made musical instruments out of vegetables and PVC pipes. They also moved their body in a hip-hop dance session. They even got funky in a Funk choir where they learned about vocal range, pitch and the elements of Funk music. All of these activities were facilitated to help connect kids to the reality that joy can be experienced holistically in our persons (heart, soul, mind, and body).
In a country where depression is on the rise, helping kids experience joy and also have the opportunity to express it is invaluable (1). Too often kids are forced to grow up too quickly and eventually learn how to stuff down their emotions, especially the ones connected to feeling joy. Not this week though! This week we gave them all the freedom to express themselves and to connect with one another through music, song, and dance. It was a Funktafied experience for all, one that we pray will last a lifetime, as joy is something we can possess in the midst of some of the most trying and difficult life circumstances.
(1) Maggie Fox, "More Teens, Young Adults Get Depression Diagnoses, Insurance Co Finds," NBCNews.com, May 10, 2018, , accessed June 26, 2019, https://www.nbcnews.com/health/health-news/major-depression-rise-among-everyone-new-data-shows-n873146.