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There were kids wandering the streets of Hamburg—but they were carrying garbage bags and pails and brooms. And one of them was excited to shout, “I found a fish head!”
As part of a larger conference, kids from all over the state—and even from other states—roamed Hamburg on June 19 to help serve the community by cleaning the streets.
These kids and their parents had come for the Pennsylvania Conference of Seventh-day Adventist, headquartered in Reading; specifically, for the Camp Meeting that ran from June 15 to 23 at the Blue Mountain Academy. Events at the camp meeting included various speakers, a craft tent, young adult worship and a Super-Fit Family 5K/10K run.
“People come from all over the state, and they spend 10 days having a spiritual convocation, and there are classes for all different ages,” said Alex Dubee, pastor of the Adventist church in Hamburg.
For their Tuesday plan, some of the kids went to Hamburg to do the cleanup as community service.
The kids cleaning were from the primary and junior classes, consisting of children ages 6-12. The classes were split into separate groups covering different areas. Highlighted areas on the map included State Street and the Hamburg Park.
The cleanup is done yearly during the conference, and Hamburg is usually chosen due to its closeness—although future years might encompass other areas.
Kids and parents came from all across the state, from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and even from other states with Seventh-day Adventist chapters like Maryland and Tennessee.
The cleaning started at around 1:30 p.m., and ended with all the groups getting together in Hamburg Park for a celebratory pizza party.
The whole point of the project, said New Jersey resident Daisy Chavez, was “religion and promoting the concept of loving your neighbor.” Pastor Dubee expanded on this.
“When we truly understand religion,” Dubee said, “it teaches us to have an attitude of servitude—how can I help my fellow man? That is the bottom line…So we teach them their spiritual lessons, we help them have a good time—but we also teach them how to give back to their community.”