Paper lanterns, bamboo, assorted animal posters, and a plethora of pandas decorated MacDonald Intermediate School for this year’s Vacation Bible School, where the theme of “Panda Mania” was evident.

Children ages 6-11 waved their arms and sang, “He’s wild! He’s wild! God is wild about us!” as they learned the theme song for the week, “Wild about Us.”

Frank Leon, the director of religious education, was excited about the annual event.

“It’s neat because all the congregations come together,” he said.

“The (children) will be doing music, recreation, and crafts"that’s what the kids enjoy the most,” he added. “Then they’re going to do their daily lessons.”

The lessons through-out the week included messages like, “Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex” (Psalm 139:14), with the children being asked to consider what makes him or her “wonderfully complex” or unique. They also were taught, “God listens to you;” “God watches over you;” and “God loves you, no matter what.”

The kids will also keep the crafts they make, such as a mini-planter constructed from a small plastic take-out box or a colored-sand creation. They received a copy of the music and songs they learned throughout the week as well as a t-shirt that read, “I am spirit strong at Fort Knox.”

Vacation Bible School is also a good resource for volunteers. Mr. Leon was pleased with the amount of help he has each year.

“There’s always a great ratio of kids to volunteers,” he said.

Nadja Packauskas, who’s been involved with VBS for more than 16 years but has only been volunteering at Fort Knox for three, said she loves being a part of the program.

“It’s the best time of the year for me to be with kids,” she said.

She also added that it’s a good time to meet and make some new friends before school starts in the fall.

“I’ve registered several new families (to Fort Knox). They saw the banners, said, ‘I’ve been on post two days…and I want to register my child for VBS,’” said Mr. Leon. “That’s exciting. All Army installations do Vacation Bible School. It’s a tradition, so we’re linked that way.”

The program concludes tomorrow at 11 a.m. with a musical performance and celebration for friends and families of the children enrolled in VBS.