Three Birdsboro churches join forces for summer Vacation Bible School

Photo by Ambre Juryea-Amole
Photo by Ambre Juryea-Amole Left to right: Carol Wunderlich with her grandson Bryce Wunderlich, 8, weave baskets made from Solo cups and yarn next to Mallory Hurlock, 7, with her grandmother Debbie Reid.

From July 28 to Aug. 1, volunteers from Alice Focht UMC, Abundant Life Assembly of God, and Christ UMC organized the third annual Vacation Bible School. Around 60 children aged three to 12 years enjoyed games, songs, crafts and other activities at the VBS held at Alice Focht UMC.

Following the Amazing Desert Journey theme, volunteers arranged a Vacation Bible School a maze of stations that kept children on the move as they trekked from one activity to the next. Each station was decorated to look like Middle Eastern Desert-style tent, which opened imaginations and helped the children connect Bible stories to the activities they enjoyed.

The VBS was free for children to attend thanks to the help of volunteers and generous donations from local businesses. Chick-fil-A, Unique Pretzels, Reading Coffee Roasters, Ace Hardware, Clover Farms, and J.P. Mascaro donated snacks for children, items for making crafts, and money to help fund the VBS.

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The evening began at 6:30 p.m. each night with all children gathering to sing songs together. After that, the children split into caravans that journeyed through the churchs labyrinth of activity tents.

The churchs unique architecture was advantageous to creating a journey-themed week of fun for the children. Organizers used the large basement hall for gatherings at the beginning and end of each night. The basement kitchen had blankets laid out under tents for snack time. The classrooms upstairs were decorated with tapestries, curtains, and tents for craft time. And the church vestibule was even used as a playhouse for children to enjoy theatrical Bible readings.

For a touch of summer fun, the organizers took caravans of children outside to cool off and play water games on the church grounds. With water blasters in hand, children rushed to see which team could fill their water buckets the fastest. After that, volunteers distributed water balloons for the children to splatter one another.

This was Alice Focht UMC member Carole Cyktors third year organizing the event along with about 60 volunteers from Abundant Life Assembly of God and Christ UMC. Volunteers had a variety of unique jobs including those who helped in the planning process in the months preceding the event. According to Cyktor, the VBS had so many volunteers helping that there were as many volunteers as there were children.

Having so many volunteers helped the VBS organizers keep children safe.

Teaching children about the Bible is our number one [priority], but actually safety has to come first, Cyktor said. All children had name tags and traveled with designated groups while moving from one activity station to the next. Also, parents, grandparents, and guardians had to sign their children out before leaving at the end of each night.

Cyktor would like to see the event grow to even greater proportions by inviting other churches to combine efforts in years to come. This is definitely not a closed event. We welcome any of the churches in Birdsboro, Geigertown, and neighboring areas to join next year, Cyktor said.

For any local church members who would like to combine efforts for next summers VBS, call 610-582-4223 or 610-582-8876.

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