By Pat Young, Fort Stewart Public AffairsJune 27, 2008
FORT STEWART, GA -- More than 125 youth attended the Outrigger Island Vacation Bible School at Fort Stewart, June 16-20 held at Diamond Elementary School.
Activities started in the school gym, decorated to resemble a large beach, and named the Worship Rally Lagoon.
Heather Harrison, event coordinator, said the goal of Outrigger Island was to help participants 'catch the wave' while learning about God's word, having fun, and praising him. She said activities included music, outdoor recreation activities, arts and crafts, and Bible study.
Mike Illif, Fort Stewart Director of Religious Education said the camp was held annually, and was possible thanks to the outstanding support of post volunteers. Illiff said the volunteers came from various installation like Pamela Perez, Hunter Catholic Religious Education Coordinator. Estelle Nealy and Kris Fischer were invaluable as were the other volunteers who led the children through their various stations.
Establishing a strong faith-based staff the volunteers included Gospel Service representatives as well as Catholic and Protestant Women of the Chapel. All focused on providing a quality program to the installation youth, according to Illiff.
Joshua Elder, 13 was another volunteer who started his day early, helping set up the day's activities with a number of other teen volunteers.
He said he volunteered to help prepare for college, noting he hoped to attend the United States Military Academy later on, and was working on valued community service.
"But it's fun too," Elder said, mentioning how he and several other teen who come in early help prepare the days activities, and hang-out with each other when there is down time. One of Elder's friends, Addison "A.J." Burgess, 13 from Snelson Golden Middle school volunteered last year and realized how fun it was helping out, and volunteered a second year.
As the day's event was scheduled to begin, Ileinia Elder, dropped off her child, stopping to explain she thought the Vacation Bible School was a wonderful activity.
"I think it is great because it gets kids involved and teaches about God," Elder said. "My children love to come, have fun and sing. Their excited about learning sign language."
Community members are encouraged to learn more about youth ministry opportunities on Fort Stewart and Hunter Army Airfield by calling 912-767-9789 at Stewart or Hunter at 912-352-5440.