Whether religious or not, most people would probably agree that an idle mind is the devil's playground.
Whether religious or not, most people would probably agree that an idle mind is the devil’s playground.
Many young students out of school for the summer are susceptible to having their mind dulled by TV, video games and boredom.
For years, churches have tried to curb students from having unproductive summers by providing them with a week or more of vacation Bible school. Commonly known as VBS, the summer programs typically teach students educational games and activities themed around God.
With churches like Faith Community Church in Camden and Capitol Baptist Church in Dover hosting upcoming VBS programs, here’s a better idea of what the VBS experience has to offer.
‘God’s Amazement World’
Faith Community Church’s VBS launches on July 28 with an amusement park theme titled “God’s Amazement World.”
“The kids earn money, pretend money, when they come in and say [Bible] verses,” VBS Director Cris Mattes said. “Bring a Bible and bring a friend and they can buy their tickets for the amazement park. They can go into the amazement park and play the carnival games.”
Faith Community Church’s VBS curriculum was created by the company Answers in Genesis.
The church’s final day of VBS on July 27 will feature a family-fun day with pony rides, inflatables, a train ride, hotdogs and popcorn for free.
Story of Paul
Capitol Baptist Church’s VBS begins on Aug. 1, and its theme is inspired by the story of the apostle Paul.
Paul is a person of interest to VBS Director Sam Knickerbocker because he used to persecute Christians, before accepting Christ.
Knickerbocker said students will learn a different story about Paul each day. There will also be games and songs that relate to his story.
Knickerbocker added that this year’s VBS program was created internally for the first time because Capitol Baptist attracts about 200-300 students per day to its VBS, and that number exceeds most curriculums, which are intended for churches hosting 30-60 people.
“Workshop of Wonders”
On Thursday, St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church wrapped up their final day of VBS, which featured a theme of “Workshop of Wonders.”
The idea behind the church’s program was to show how good can make extraordinary things from the ordinary. For instance, the students created science labs where they made “Wonder Slime” (or goo) from glue, water and borax, said Paula McPhail, a co-coordinator of the church’s VBS.
Students also learned a story about the muster seed, a plant that can grow as tall as trees. During that lesson, participants had a tasty snack that related to nature.
“They had dirt pudding,” McPhail said. “They had chocolate pudding with crushed Oreos and gummy worms.”
Cokesbury VBS created the curriculum for St. Andrew’s vacation Bible school.
Jalese Bailey, 7, has been attending St. Andrew’s VBS for a few years now. Although she lives in New Jersey, her mom drops her off with her grandparents, who bring her to VBS at the Dover church.
Jalese said this year’s program taught her that “We can imagine with God, grow up with God and build with God.”
IF YOU GO #1
WHAT Capitol Baptist Church’s vacation Bible school
WHEN Sunday, July 21 through Friday, Aug. 1
WHERE Capitol Baptist Church, 401 Kesselring Ave., Dover
INFO Visit cbcofdover.com or call 734-2410
IF YOU GO #2
WHAT Faith Community Church’s vacation Bible school
WHEN Sunday, July 27 through Thursday, July 31
WHERE Faith Community Church, 2240 S. Dupont Highway, Dover
INFO Visit fccde.org or call 697-1673