Vacation Bible school teaches children about strange animalsPublished 10:33am Thursday, July 17, 2014
Ten-year-old Logan Marx was excited to attend vacation Bible school for the first time this week.
“My favorite activity is probably story time, because you do a lot of really fun things in story time,” Logan said.
He hopes to be able to come back to St. Olaf Lutheran Church next year. He’s not the only one enjoying St. Olaf’s vacation Bible school this week, as this year’s theme is “weird animals,” better explained by the school’s catchphrase “Jesus’ love is one of a kind.”
Nine-year-old Olin Davis agreed with Logan about story time.
“We always get to do something fun,” Olin said.
But 8-year-old Garrin Wilson said his favorite part was gym-time.
Since there are many Bible school companies, there are many programs to choose from. Co-Director Kelly Tapp said they chose “weird animals” this year because it seemed like the most fun and engaging.
“The kids have really enjoyed it,” Tapp said. “We really like it, it’s bright, it’s colorful, it’s fun and it’s unique.”
There are five stations set up at St. Olaf, a snack station, an imagination station featuring science activities, a “kid vid” station to watch a movie, an untamed games station, and a Bible adventure station, featuring a Bible story.
The children spend 20 minutes at each station, and the program runs about three hours.
For 9-year-old Nora Tweeten, it has been a week filled with fun.
“It’s really fun because they teach you about God and Jesus and make your faith stronger,” Nora said. “Also it’s not boring, they make it fun.”
Her favorite activity of the week was hearing the bible story each day. Some of the activities 8-year-old Ellie Lunt and 8-year-old Hannah Schmick enjoyed were playing in the gym and doing crafts.
The church has been decorated with five featured animals, and each day the school focuses on a different animal. The five animals from different parts of the world include an Axolotls named Axl, a leafy sea-dragon named Fern, a star-nosed mole named Milton, a tenrec named Shred, and a frilled lizard named Iggy.
“They are very different,” Tapp said.
Although the school wasn’t able to bring these animals to class due to how rare they are, Tapp said the children have had a good time learning about the different animals.
The school has about 60 children this year, along with about 40 volunteers and helpers. While that’s a typical amount of children, this year is one of the biggest for volunteers.
“I’m just so happy with the kids that have come and I’m so happy with the help that we’ve had, the volunteers. It’s going well,” Tapp said.
Tapp, along with Sue Kuchera, co-directed this year’s program. After volunteering for the last couple of years, Tapp stepped into the role when it opened.
The free program runs every summer and is open to children from age 3 to fifth grade. Sixth-graders and over can also attend as helpers, and volunteers include adults, retired adults, middle and high schoolers, and current and retired teachers. Tapp was excited that the children were enjoying the program, and she said their parents were happy about it too.
“I think they think it’s kind of fun when they come in and they see their kids enjoy it,” Tapp said.