A Camping Adventure
An assembly in the ‘Hello, Scruff!’ series
by the Revd Sylvia Burgoyne
Suitable for Reception / Key Stage 1
To consider that God provides for us and guides us.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a glove puppet or sock puppet of a donkey, called Scruff.
- As the assembly begins, ensure that you already have Scruff the puppet on your hand.
- Scruff waves to the children. Encourage them to say, ‘Hello, Scruff!’
If this is the first time the children have met Scruff, you will need to use the following introduction.
Scruff lives on a farm with Lucy Jane, her mum, Mrs B, her dad, Farmer Brown, and her baby brother, Tom. Lucy Jane loves Scruff. She looks after him. She plays with him and she talks to him – when she’s happy and when she’s sad. Scruff is her best friend!
- It was a warm summer’s day, and Lucy Jane was leaning over the gate to the field, talking to Scruff. ‘Wouldn’t it be exciting to go on a camping adventure, Scruff?’ she asked. ‘Our farm has lots of fields, an orchard, a stream and woods. We could go on a journey and put up our tent and maybe sleep overnight! I could invite some friends to come with us - perhaps Katy and Lily - and of course, you would come too, Scruff.’
Scruff liked the sound of this adventure and nodded his head. ‘Hee-haw, hee-haw!’ he brayed excitedly.
‘First,’ Lucy Jane continued, ‘we’ll have to ask our parents, and then we’ll have to make a list of all the things that we’ll need to take with us.’
- Pause to ask the children, ‘Can you think of what they would need to take on their camping adventure?’
Listen to a range of responses. Suggestions may include a tent, some sleeping bags, some torches, food and drink and so on.
- Continue with the story.
Soon, it was all arranged, and Katy and Lily were as excited as Lucy Jane. Mrs Brown had arranged with their parents that they would put up two tents so that she and Farmer Brown could sleep nearby to make sure that the girls were OK.
Early on Saturday afternoon, the three excited girls met up in the farmyard, along with Scruff, of course! Waving goodbye to their parents, they set off on their camping adventure, carrying snacks and drinks in their rucksacks. The sky was blue and the sun was shining; it was a perfect day.
First, they walked through the orchard. ‘Let’s have a game of tag,’ Katy suggested. ‘I’ll be on. You run off and I’ll count to ten.’
- Ask the children to help Katy count.
‘1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. Coming!’ she shouted.
- Continue with the story.
Lucy Jane and Lily dodged between the fruit trees, with Scruff trotting along behind, but Katy was a fast runner.
‘Got you!’ she shouted as she tapped Lucy Jane on the back, who quickly reached out and tapped Lily. Off they ran again, shouting and giggling, until they all collapsed on the ground, red in the face and out of breath.
‘Time for a drink,’ Lucy Jane said, pulling out her water bottle.
It wasn’t long before Scruff started to bray loudly, ‘Hee-haw, hee-haw!’
‘You’re right, Scruff!’ Lucy Jane said, laughing, ‘We’d better get going; we’re meeting Dad at the stream.’
The children wound their way down to the stream, where Dad was sitting with a box full of sandwiches.
By this time, Scruff was hot and thirsty. He paddled straight into the water for a drink.
‘What a good idea!’ said Katy. ‘Why don’t we all have a paddle?’
Dad agreed, so off came their socks and trainers and they stepped into the stream. It felt lovely and cool, but it didn’t take long for them to start splashing the water at each other.
‘Stop, stop!’ giggled Lucy Jane, looking at her wet clothes.
‘Will we have to wade across to the other side?’ asked Katy. ‘It looks pretty deep in the middle, and we might hurt our feet on the stones.’
‘Don’t worry,’ said Dad. ‘We’ve got a plan for that!’
‘That’s right!’ laughed Lucy Jane, ‘Scruff will carry us across one by one, won’t you, Scruff?’
‘Hee-haw, hee-haw!’ Scruff agreed.
Katy was the first to be lifted onto Scruff’s back and carried across the stream. Then, Scruff trotted back for Lily, and last of all for Lucy Jane, who gave him a big hug, pulling a carrot out of her rucksack for him. The girls began to feel hungry, so they ate their sandwiches as they climbed up the bank into the woods, leaving Dad to drive to the place where they were going to put up the tent.
Lucy Jane led them to a clearing in the trees, where her mum, her dad and her baby brother were waiting for them. They had lots of fun putting up the tents. Then, they ate some more food, had a warm drink and climbed into their sleeping bags; they all felt very sleepy.
‘Good night, Scruff,’ Lucy Jane called, with a huge yawn.
Soon, everyone was fast asleep. ‘What a lovely day!’ Scruff thought to himself, as he too closed his eyes. ‘Hee-haw, hee-haw!’
Take off Scruff.
Time for reflection
In the Bible, we can read a story about a group of people who went on a camping adventure. However, when they set out, they had no idea how long the trip would last or where they were going. For many years, they were forced to work hard for the pharaoh, making bricks and building huge pyramids until God chose Moses to lead them to a beautiful land of their own. Pharaoh didn’t want to let go of his slaves, but Moses told him that bad things would keep happening in Egypt unless Pharaoh set them free. So, he sent them on their way.
The Hebrews hurriedly packed some food, some water and their possessions, and began their camping adventure. However, they faced many difficulties on their journey.
First of all, when they reached the Red Sea, they were frightened because they could hear the sound of horses’ hooves approaching. They realized that Pharaoh must have changed his mind and sent his soldiers to bring them back to Egypt. What were they to do? There was no way they could swim across the sea to safety.
God told Moses to strike the water with his staff. When he did, the water divided, making a pathway through to the other side. The people quickly crossed over and soon, they were safe on the other side.
As Moses led them through the wilderness day after day, the people soon ran out of the small amount of food and water that they had packed for their camping adventure. Again, they wondered what they could do. There were no shops, no taps to turn on and off! They began to wish that they had never left Egypt.
This time, God told Moses to strike a rock with his staff. When he did, water gushed out and everyone had enough to drink. What’s more, God provided them with food to eat too. That night, a flock of quails flew down, and each morning after that, the people saw what looked like flakes of frost on the desert floor and found that they were good to eat.
The people continued on their way and had lots of adventures until after many years, they reached the land that God had promised to give them. They had learnt an important lesson: that God had been with them on their journey, guiding them and giving them what they needed. Why? Because he loved them.
Christians believe that God still cares for us today. They believe that he promises to be with us always and that he will never leave us.
Thank you for all the people who help and care for us each day.
Thank you for parents, grandparents, teachers and friends.
Thank you that the journey of our lives can be an exciting adventure.
Thank you that we can trust you to be with us every step of the way.
‘How did Moses cross the Red Sea?’, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HboALKQxbNY (1.13 minutes long)