From staff reports
Vacation Bible School, a summer staple of Catholic parishes throughout the Diocese of Trenton, took place in a variety of formats and fashions this season.
During the week of June 26, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Maple Shade, was the site of the “Maker Fun Factory” VBS program where, under the direction of Kim and Bob Gamelli, the parish hall was transformed into a creative vision filled with life-size Legos, crayon boxes, paint cans and paint brushes.
Photo Gallery: Vacation Bible School in Visitation Parish, Brick
Some 60 children, ages four through 10 and assisted by 22 teen crew leaders, participated in joyful activities, praise and worship as the theme unfolded: Created by God, Built for a Purpose. With games, songs, dance and snacks that matched the theme of the day, these VBS kids made sure to let their little light shine.
In Epiphany Parish, Brick, 65 campers also participated in a “Maker Fun Factory” VBS program, learning they were created by God and built for a purpose. The popular program usually sells out by early May.
Former campers between the ages of 12 and 23 volunteer as camp counselors, decorating the church campus with hand-made robots. The science station taught children to make lava lamps and have balloon races on a bed of nails, while the arts and crafts session led them in creating mini robots, rockets and spinners. The children designed eatable robots, listened to young volunteers during Bible story time, and tried their skill at music and dance.
“Parents tell us that every night during dinner the kids can’t wait to tell them about their day at Epiphany’s VBS,” said Kim Lorentzen, parish director of religious education.
During the week of Aug. 7-11, 70 children ages three to 12 picked up their “Passport to Peru” for a week full of fun and faith in Visitation Parish, Brick.
Director of religious education Nancy Grodberg explained that children were assigned to one of five groups according to age, and spent three hours each day, 9 a.m. to noon, rotating through various stations, engaging in games, songs, dance and a variety of other engaging activities related to themes and Bible study of the day – such as God’s comfort, God’s love and patience.
Children and their catechist leaders were assisted by more than 30 teens in grades seven through 12. The cross culture VBS program was directed by Joanne Martone, a full-time Spanish teacher, and Visitation Parish catechist.