FORT DRUM, N.Y. (July 31, 2018) -- Vacation Bible School commenced at Fort Drum's Main Post Chapel on July 30 and the fun began almost immediately.

Chol Hye Kim, one of two visiting evangelists from Neighborhood Bible Time - the program that VBS is following this year - led children rallies filled with song, lessons and stories. His high-energy approach to teaching was infectious among all age groups.

As the young attendees filed into the chapel, their attention was drawn instantly to Kim, wearing head gear made of balloons and greeting them with a cheerful, booming voice.

"It's all for the children," he said. "I think that when they look up to you, then whatever you think is awesome they will think so too. So, the more energy you put into it, the more energy you get back."

Chaplain (Maj.) Stuart Kazarovich, family life chaplain, said that Vacation Bible School is a way to build stronger families in the community.

"This will lay the foundation for the spiritual formation of a child," he said. "The different activities they participate in each day helps build that - the songs they learn, the Bible stories, meeting new friends. It's like a one-week Bible camp where they solidify their faith, and they are able to learn in this very dynamic and fun way so they will always remember it."

Marcie Kazarovich is director of religious education and this is her first year organizing Vacation Bible School. She described the week as "fun with a purpose."

"The children are here to have fun, but the purpose is to learn more about God and his love for us," she said. "We chose the Neighborhood Bible Time program because it really is fun with a purpose."

More than 160 Fort Drum children registered for Vacation Bible School, with nearly 60 volunteers assisting in games, Bible stories and arts and crafts. Kazarovich said that many of those who are members of the Youth Group are serving as volunteers during VBS.

"They help with the children, but they also have fun and learn while serving," she said.

During the week of Vacation Bible School, the Main Post Chapel is also hosting a Teen Rally every evening for students entering 7th through 12th grades. This program includes athletic competitions, games, Bible teaching and other special events. Nearly 30 students attended the first session.

"The aim of this is about building values," said Chaplain Kazarovich.

Chaplain (Lt. Col.) James Foster, deputy garrison chaplain, said that he is excited to offer this popular summer program to the Fort Drum community.

"VBS is our largest outreach opportunity for children in the Protestant Christian faith, and we really appreciate all the great volunteers who make it possible."

While the Vacation Bible School program is focused on Protestant-based teachings, a Catholic Kidz Camp is scheduled Aug. 20-24. To learn more or to register, email crystal.lerose.lopez@gmail.com or call (315) 772-5591. For information on religious services on post, visit https://www.drum.army.mil/iso/Pages/ReligiousSupport_lv2.aspx.