It’s summer! Hurray! No more homework! No more books! No more teachers’ dirty looks! Kids can’t wait for school to get out. The sun is warm, the sky is blue, and the ice cream is cold. And one of the best parts of summer? VBS at Mount Calvary!
VBS is a program for children ages 3 through the 5th grade to learn about Jesus, the Bible, being Lutheran, and what it means to be a good citizen of the world, in a fun, active environment. This year’s VBS theme, “Hero Central: Discover Your Strength in God” promoted the idea that within each one of us is the ability to be God’s super heroes.
This week, I had the opportunity to observe a session of group worship, and to interview the Youth Director, two of the counselors, and two campers. It was so great to see how the older counselors interacted with the young campers. I mean, who is cooler than a high school kid to an elementary student?
Charlie Dutton is a counselor now, but he remembers how he loved the older counselors when he was a camper, and it’s obvious the kids love him. His buddy, Jack, was with him when we talked, and Charlie was helping Jack perfect his superhero jumping skills. The kids made superhero capes in art class and Charlie said Jack’s superhero cape said “Jumping Jack” on the back. As Andrea F-G says, “Faith is built through trusted relationships. When they can connect with their people, God’s story makes sense. Kids are living out this story.”
Charlie Groton also grew up attending VBS as a camper. He went on to become a counselor, and now leads the camp’s outdoor recreation. The kids love the outdoor games, especially tag – (and this is not your grandma’s “tag”). They play Blob Tag, Freeze Tag, and – everyone’s favorite – Fastest Tag in the West.
Playing outside, crafting, and singing together is great for making friends. Like Charlie D says, “Everybody makes friends at VBS”. Campers Lillian J. and Ruby told me they had made many friends already, and it was only Tuesday! I asked them their favorite part of VBS, and they said “Everything!” They definitely had a favorite song though – “I Want My Life to Make a Difference” which is a great song to go along with the Bible verse of the week – “Do good. Seek peace. Go for it!” These are wise words for a superhero, and it’s good to know these superheroes are on the job. After all, their little hands are safeguarding our future.
Save the date for VBS next year: June 18-21, 2018!