NEWTON TWP. — Countryside Community Church offered children from pre-school to grade 6 a week of activities and Bible verse teachings during the annual Vacation Bible School (VBS) while students in grades 7 and older were allowed to assist the teachers. This year’s theme was “Everest: Conquering Challenges with God’s Mighty Power.”
Each day, the children learn a different Bible verse through arts and crafts, games and educational videos. There were mini-themes each day, during which children wore something special, including Crazy Hat Day and Crazy Hair Day.
“I like it because we get to learn new things,” said 11-year-old Clarks Summit resident Robert Abdo, who has been going to VBS for four years where he likes getting to know people. His sister, Rebecca, is one of the teachers of the VBS music program where children dance to modern, upbeat worship songs played in the church’s sanctuary in a section called Base Camp Sing & Play Music.
“It’s amazing,” Rebecca said about VBS.
Susan Griggs and her sister, Emily, are also music teachers.
“I like the music program,” said Susan.
“I’m really happy I’m doing it,” Emily said about teaching and dancing with the children.
The church sanctuary was decorated with a centerfold of Mount Everest and its entrance was made to look like a base camp with boots and lanterns.
A station called Kid Vid Cinema allowed Alfredo Chevez to show educational videos inside Countryside’s café. The videos were based on various themes, such as comfort, healing and forgiveness.
Downstairs in the cafeteria, church member Karen Rickaby taught arts and crafts — a different one each day. On Monday, the children glued paper hearts on little rocks which they called prayer rocks. On Tuesday, they made slap bracelets, which read “Watch for God” on them. On Wednesday, Rickaby made a mixture of shaving cream and glue to look like snow for the Mount Everest theme. The children made a list of what they were thankful for on construction paper and spread the mixture around it. On Thursday, they colored with frozen food coloring, which they called ice paint.
Outside the church, Laine Murphy and Kirsten Hardy played games with a multi-colored parachute, one of which taught children that, like the colors of the parachute, we are all different but everyone is needed to lift the parachute.
At the end of each day, everybody returned to the sanctuary to review what the children did and what they learned during the VBS.
“It’s a great time to get with young people,” said Sharon Sollami, who serves and chairs the family ministries team with her husband, Sal.
A closing program was held Friday evening.
Each day, a supper of pasta and meatballs was served by church members, who also volunteered their time. Four ladies of the church (Lucinda Brady, Helen Herne, Josie Dickson and Thelma Gardner) said a prayer each day for the children.
Abigail Burrell came from Bloomsburg to attend the VBS while visiting her grandparents, Ron and Jill Imdorf, members of the Countryside Community Church.
“It’s absolutely amazing,” said Clarks Summit resident Debra Doran, whose five children, Trey, Miley, Valentina, Nicholas and Ali, learn at VBS. “The kids love it so much. They have so much fun and they learn so much.”
Evie Hatfield, 5, of Dalton brushes ‘snow’ around her drawing of a panda bear.