Super Summer Slam at Evangelical Free Church in Montdale provides tons of fun

By Ben Freda - For Abington Journal
Jen Measley, wife of Pastor Mike Measley, recites the story of Brother Andrew based on a book called ‘God’s Smuggler.’ - Ben Freda | For Abington Journal
Ryan Kotarski, left, 10, of Florida, and staff member Kim Fantanarosa try to catch incoming water balloons with a towel as Ryan Wright, center, 11, of Fleetville, offers the sign of peace. - Ben Freda | For Abington Journal
Ruby Robinson, 9, of Clarks Summit, slides through an inflatable water slide. - Ben Freda | For Abington Journal
Aiden Bird, 11, of Throop, goes down the water slide head first. - - Ben Freda | For Abington Journal
Juggler Chris Ivey, left, lets Super Summer Slam campers in his act. From left, Christopher Baldoni, Matthew Trivelin, Mikayla Measley, and Naya DeBruyn balance plates on poles. - - Ben Freda | For Abington Journal
Nicholas Spargo, 7, of Harrisburg, checks his net on the East Branch Tunkhannock Creek to see if he caught any macro-invertebrates. - - Ben Freda | For Abington Journal
Seven-year-old Lily Griffin kicks the ball as other children wait their turn. - - Ben Freda | For Abington Journal
Animal trainer Jack Hubley, left, lets kids hold a black rat snake, the largest snake in Pennsylvania. From left, are Riley Durkin, 7, of Throop; Calvin Robinson, 8, of Clarks Summit; Essie DeBruyn, 8, of Reading; Al Snipes, 8, of Olyphant; and Jennifer Rowlands, 8, of Jefferson Twp. - - Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

MONTDALE — During Super Summer Slam Week (July 9-13), children of Evangelical Free Bible Church had just as much fun both inside and outside the Joe Terry Civic Center. They participated in fun activities through the Vacation Bible School theme “Time Lab: Discovering Jesus from Eternity Past to Eternity Future.” The topic of this theme is seeing Jesus through history and inside the gymnasium of the civic center, kids learned Jesus’ past, present, and future through minerals, which are only made by God.

“We are still using minerals today,” said Dan Miller, pastor of Evangelical Free Bible Church.

Abington Heights high school teacher Dan Walter taught certain minerals represent Jesus, including that garnet symbolizes Jesus’ dying for our sins and carnelian represents Jesus appearing to people like the burning bush. Emerald represents how Jesus wants to give us life, and lapis lazuli represents Jesus wanting to spend eternity with us.

Outdoor fun included gamma ball, nine-square, and kickball. The full week of sunny weather was good for all the water activities the Super Summer Slam had in store. The kids had water balloon fights, raced down water slides and went to the East Branch Tunkhannock Creek in the civic center’s backyard where they used little nets to search for macro-invertebrates such as crawfish, dragonfly nymphs, and crane flies.

“I like exploring the creek,” said 5-year-old Noah Tajan, of Clarks Summit.

Tajan also enjoyed using sling-shooting dog food, another outdoor activity.

“I found crawfish at the creek,” said 5-year-old Luke Roberts, of Archbald. “We did obstacle courses, races, slingshots, and dances.”

This was Luke’s first year at the Super Summer Slam but the second year for his 8-year-old brother Chase. Their mother Liane Roberts volunteered to be a team leader for the first time.

“I love it,” Liane said. “I’m exhausted, but it’s worth it. The kids hear all about God and what to do to get into heaven. It’s a great experience.”

Clarks Summit resident Christen Robinson brought her 9-year-old daughter Ruby and 8-year-old son Calvin to the Summer Slam.

“They love that it’s outside all day, God-centered, and entertaining,” said Christen.

The children also enjoyed riding on the barrel trains and, this year, a second barrel train was built to accommodate more kids. The trains were driven by Pastor Mike Measley, associate pastor Joseph Ciasulli, Adam Rasbeck, and Grant DeBruyn.

Mike Measley’s wife Jen did storytime, which was also held outdoors. Each day of the week, she read excerpts from the book “God’s Smuggler” written by Brother Andrew, who visited Communist and Muslim countries to spread God’s word.

During the afternoon, kids watched live performances inside the civic center’s gym. On Thursday, Juggler Chris Ivey offered an amazing performance of juggling bean bags and other unorthodox items. He also let some of the kids join in his performance. Caleb Klees assisted Chris by catching bean bags in his hat while Jeffrey Barlow assisted him with juggling hats. Ivey incorporates Jesus in his performance and follows the theme “Will you Rust or Will You Trust?” During his performances, he uses chains which represent worries. The trust represents the freedom from the worries.

“These are some of the best kids in the world,” he said. “The best staff. They’re amazing.”

Animal trainer and master falconer Jack Hubley from Mount Gretna visited the Vacation Bible School Friday and exhibited animals native to Pennsylvania. He showed a skunk named Skippy and displayed a red-tailed hawk, which had been rescued after being hit by a car on I-81. He also showed a full-grown male American kestrel named Stubley, which weighs only 3 ounces. Some of the animals are the largest of their kind in the state of Pennsylvania. A majestic-looking great-horn owl was perched on Hubley’s arm for kids to see. The kids were in awe when they saw a black rat snake, the largest snake in Pennsylvania. Five Super Summer Slam students were able to hold it from head to tail.

“My program is nature wildlife, including mammals, snakes, and birds of prey,” said Hubley.

Jen Measley, wife of Pastor Mike Measley, recites the story of Brother Andrew based on a book called ‘God’s Smuggler.’
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_Slam1.jpgJen Measley, wife of Pastor Mike Measley, recites the story of Brother Andrew based on a book called ‘God’s Smuggler.’ Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Ryan Kotarski, left, 10, of Florida, and staff member Kim Fantanarosa try to catch incoming water balloons with a towel as Ryan Wright, center, 11, of Fleetville, offers the sign of peace.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_Slam2.jpgRyan Kotarski, left, 10, of Florida, and staff member Kim Fantanarosa try to catch incoming water balloons with a towel as Ryan Wright, center, 11, of Fleetville, offers the sign of peace. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Ruby Robinson, 9, of Clarks Summit, slides through an inflatable water slide.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_slam3.jpgRuby Robinson, 9, of Clarks Summit, slides through an inflatable water slide. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Aiden Bird, 11, of Throop, goes down the water slide head first.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_slam4.jpgAiden Bird, 11, of Throop, goes down the water slide head first. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Juggler Chris Ivey, left, lets Super Summer Slam campers in his act. From left, Christopher Baldoni, Matthew Trivelin, Mikayla Measley, and Naya DeBruyn balance plates on poles.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_Slam5.jpgJuggler Chris Ivey, left, lets Super Summer Slam campers in his act. From left, Christopher Baldoni, Matthew Trivelin, Mikayla Measley, and Naya DeBruyn balance plates on poles. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Nicholas Spargo, 7, of Harrisburg, checks his net on the East Branch Tunkhannock Creek to see if he caught any macro-invertebrates.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_Slam6.jpgNicholas Spargo, 7, of Harrisburg, checks his net on the East Branch Tunkhannock Creek to see if he caught any macro-invertebrates. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Seven-year-old Lily Griffin kicks the ball as other children wait their turn.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_Slam7.jpgSeven-year-old Lily Griffin kicks the ball as other children wait their turn. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

Animal trainer Jack Hubley, left, lets kids hold a black rat snake, the largest snake in Pennsylvania. From left, are Riley Durkin, 7, of Throop; Calvin Robinson, 8, of Clarks Summit; Essie DeBruyn, 8, of Reading; Al Snipes, 8, of Olyphant; and Jennifer Rowlands, 8, of Jefferson Twp.
https://www.theabingtonjournal.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/web1_Slam8.jpgAnimal trainer Jack Hubley, left, lets kids hold a black rat snake, the largest snake in Pennsylvania. From left, are Riley Durkin, 7, of Throop; Calvin Robinson, 8, of Clarks Summit; Essie DeBruyn, 8, of Reading; Al Snipes, 8, of Olyphant; and Jennifer Rowlands, 8, of Jefferson Twp. Ben Freda | For Abington Journal

By Ben Freda

For Abington Journal

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at news@theabingtonjournal.com.

Reach the Abington Journal newsroom at 570-587-1148 or by email at news@theabingtonjournal.com.