Vacation Bible School teaches children faith
August 9, 2012
By Corynn Myers
FORT SILL, Okla.-- Fort Sill Frontier Chapel hosted its annual Vacation Bible School July 30-Aug. 3.
An estimated 170 military children, ages ranging from kindergarten through fifth grade, attended the free event. Local Protestant and Catholic congregations sponsored the activities for the children, and around 90 volunteers helped every day with whatever was needed.
Aug. 1 children participated in activities that revolved around the theme of the day, "No matter what people do, trust in God." Each day the children were introduced to a new theme, but the same core message was always repeated, "trust in God."
"This curriculum helps our military kids learn regardless of what happens in the families, regardless of what happens in their lives, they can trust God, they can turn to God," said Calvin Eastham, Religious Education director.
The week was filled with five different learning stations and groups of children rotating every 20 minutes.
"Vacation Bible School traditionally has crafts where they make mosaics out of beads and corn. Well, we don't have that. We have science experiments to talk about God," said Eastham.
"The imagination station is awesome. Today we are doing "soar on wings like eagles" so we are soaring tubes through the air. Yesterday, we did "exploding feelings" by placing effervescent tablets in containers and watching them pop. It shows that no matter how you feel, even if you're going to explode, that you need to trust in God," said Cheryl Leavitt, an imagination station leader.
All of the volunteers were enthusiastic and in return the children were also excited.
"Good morning boys and girls," exclaimed Chaplain Berney Cornell during a lesson. "Welcome to day three of Vacation Bible School. Isn't every day getting better and better?"
The group of children sitting cross-legged on the floor agreed in unison and intently listened to Cornell, and his wife Teri, speak.
Other stations taught the children Bible verses and the story of Jesus' death. The most exciting part of the day for many children were the cold root beer floats that were served during snack time.
At the end of each day all the children and volunteers came together and sang songs and danced.
"We've got great songs and it's just terrific watching these little kids do the motions of the songs," said Eastham.
In addition to teaching Fort Sill children about God, this years Vacation Bible School decided to team up with Operation Kid-to-Kid to donate specially treated mosquito bed nets to kids at risk of contracting malaria in Mali.
"We take offerings everyday and we use that money, about one net for every two dollars, to send nets to Mali, Africa to prevent malaria," said Eastham.
At the end of the week, when all the money from each day was counted, 278 nets were donated.