By Isabella Franco, VBS Core Team Member and
Alice Lee, VBS Director
At Saint Athanasius Parish’s 8th annual Vacation Bible School (VBS), campers learned that “When Life is Wild, God is Good!” 49 campers and 29 teen journeyed across the African Safari during our week-long, “Roar”-themed VBS. Each day, campers attended morning Mass with teen leaders serving as lectors, altar servers, pianist and choir members. After Mass, they immersed themselves in the Opening Sing and Play and rotated between the Crafts and Bible Adventure Stations.
Bible Stories Coming to Life
The highlight of the camp was the Bible Adventure Station where some of the core team leaders re-enacted Bible stories. Each day, campers learned about how Moses led the Israelite people out of the land of Egypt and how they spent 40 years in the desert to reach the promised land. Campers pretended to be Israelites who grumbled at Moses and God, crossed the Red Sea, and ate the manna and quail which were cornflakes and home-made marshmallow. On the second-to-last day, each camper was given a stone. They put their sins in the stones and gave them to Jesus who died for us and rose from the dead. The sorrowful feelings of our sins contrasted the excitement of the resurrected Christ as the whole room was filled with sounds of joy.
Encountering Christ in the
Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament
Besides immersing the campers in the Bible stories, our campers encountered Christ through the adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. For most of our campers and teen counselors, it was their first time experiencing the intimate presence of God. They learned that God is truly present in the Eucharist and spent silent time accompanying God and listening to His voice. It was a challenging exercise for our young campers to be still and quiet down for 15 minutes, but the grace of God supported them through it.
Bonding over God
Vacation Bible School was a great opportunity for core team members to deepen their faith and share their knowledge with younger campers. They spent over four weeks preparing the materials, planning the details, praying and singing together. They built special bonds and develop lasting friendships with one another. Through the workings of the Holy Spirit, the core team becomes one Body of Christ, sharing their gifts and talents for the greater glory of God.