Vacation Bible Schools bring the excitement |

Vacation Bible Schools bring the excitement

by Caryn Haller
Five-year-old Sebastian Ruffo retrieves a toy out of a pool with his feet at St. Gall on Thursday.
Brad Coman | The Record-Courier

Vacation bible schools

Crossroads — “Gotta Move” 6-8:30 p.m. July 14-18 at 1788 Pinenut Road, Gardnerville for ages 4 years to sixth grade. Information, 782-4498.

High Sierra Fellowship — “SonTreasure Island” 9 a.m.-noon, July 14-18 at 1701 Lucerne, Minden. Information, 782-7486.

Hilltop Community — “Wilderness Escape” 9-11:30 a.m., Aug. 4-8 for Kindergarten through sixth grade at 3588 Romans Road, Carson City. Information, 267-3020.

Shadow Mountain Church — “International Spy Academy” 9 a.m.-noon, July 21-25 at 1311 Centerville Lane, Gardnerville. Information, 783-0738.

With the purpose of teaching children about the Bible in an interactive and fun environment, several churches around the Valley are hosting Vacation Bible Schools this summer.

St. Gall’s and Valley Christian Fellowship’s started last week with weird animals and backyard camping.

“It amazes me, with even the young one’s, how deep they can be,” said Laurie Barnhill, St. Gall director of religious education. “They can be pretty profound.”

St. Gall chose “Weird animals: Where Jesus’ love is one-of-a-kind” for their theme this year.

“We focus on how God created us so uniquely,” Barnhill said. “God designed us, and has a plan for us. No matter what, he loves us and we’re to be that love to each other.”

In the Imagination Station on Wednesday, campers experimented with different types of spinning tops and wrote down a question they would ask God.

John-Paul Powers, 10, asked why God made parasites.

“I think they’re useless,” John-Paul said. “All they do is hurt and not help.”

Other questions included, Why don’t I have blue eyes? and Why do people think cats are devils and dogs are angels?

Teenage crew leaders washed campers feet in the Bible Adventures station where they learned about serving others.

Bryana McNamara, 17, was one of the crew leaders.

“I like getting the kids excited to participate in activities, and connecting with them,” Bryana said. “Realistically speaking, Mass and going to church can be boring. I think it’s nice to have youth groups and camps that are fun and get kids excited about church.”

Reagan Hukari, 8, enjoyed Bible Adventures the most.

“I like the activities and the games,” she said, “but I like this station because this is where we learn about Jesus and God the most.”

In God’s Big Backyard at Valley Christian Fellowship, campers learned about serving others.

“It’s about learning to serve family, friends, community, the world and Jesus,” director Karen Lee-Lovell said. “I want to instill in kids a sense of service. They don’t have to wait until they’re adults to be important in God’s kingdom.”

As part of learning to serve, campers ended the week Friday with a walkathon in Lampe Park to benefit a Christian orphanage in Mexico.

“It helps them realize that as Christian kids, it’s more than going to church,” Lee-Lovell said. “There’s a community and Jesus was community-minded.”

At the Clothesline Creations station, Kiarra DePaz decorated a card to be delivered to a Gardnerville Ranchos senior living facility.

Inside her card, the 8-year-old wrote, “God loves you very much.”

“I want them (seniors) to feel that not just God loves you, but other people do, too,” she said. “We’re learning to be nice to people around us and to serve others. Serving yourself is not God’s way.”

To reinforce the idea of community, campers decorated individual cupcakes and then put them together to form one caterpillar.

Rylee Wyman, 9, decorated her cupcake with colorful sprinkles and redhot candies.

“I like the arts and crafts,” she said. “And I’m learning to serve people and not just myself.”

God’s Big Backyard weekly children’s program continues 6:30-8 p.m. Wednesdays at 1352 Highway 395 in Gardnerville.