Building a Superhero City


This summer, our church did a summer day camp for kids with the theme "Superhero Summer," complete with buildings and a bridge.

The curriculum was from Bayside Church, who every year generously contributes their program for us to use! We also based the city design off of their amazing sets that they construct. Since we're a much smaller church, our city was a much smaller scale, but it was great fun to transform our church into a funky little city.

As always, I began with a scaled design in Illustrator.

We had a new construction leader this year, Steve Donecker, and the guy was amazing. He was super organized and even modeled the whole thing in Google Sketch Up and figured out how to construct it in an organized fashion! I didn't get too good of a picture off of my phone, but it should give you an idea of what his diagram looked like.


Here's Ed, one of the helphers, and Steve, measuring out sheets of styrofoam. Once again, a generous business donated all the sheets of styrofoam, and we got them at cost direct from the manufacturer. God provides in wonderful ways!


Since we do this every year, in order to not reinvent the wheel, the guys built wooden frames to which the styrofoam sheets are attached. These frames are held in place with some straps around the pillars.


They started with some 2x4's and styrofoam to build the bridge.


Here's a little farther along in the process with the styrofoam shapes beginning to take shape.


A closeup of the bridge.


It looked totally awesome after being painted!


Masking tape was used to mask off windows and doors, and some kind of rubbery hose was attached for the "ropes."


We got some superhero graphics off of iStockphoto and printed those out, taped them together and attached them to the walls. (Our budget didn't allow us to do large-scale printing, so we were cheap and printed them out in pieces on our copier!)


Here's another view of the city, now with the logo attached.


The stage set for the drama matched the front of the building.


Because people had to stand on the buildings, the team used wood to build the supports.


The left part was for the buildings and the right section was the support for the bridge.


Since the crew had to start during the week, our stage looked a bit odd during services on Sunday!


But as soon as service was over, volunteers descended and began turning over facility for the camp that was to start the next day. Here's the stage in mid-construction.


Amazing how awesome it looked afterwards!


Here's how it looked during the drama.


In one scene, the city was frozen over by the villain with his super-powerful freeze-ray gun.


The bridge supported multiple people with no problem. I heard it was a bit scary being up there, but they eventually got used to it.


I also really loved how the dance team used every inch of the stage — floor, building tops and bridge!


I'm so thankful for our amazing construction and painting volunteers that created this great city setting for the kids!


Interested in learning more about how to organize a Christian event or conference? The Christian Conference Planner covers the nuts-and-bolts of designing, leading, coordinating and executing an event. See also other event planning resources at SummitStar Press.