Vacation Bible School planning begins months in advance – choosing a theme, attending a workshop, designing banners, setting up online registration forms, ordering supplies. Time seems to accelerate when registration opens. There is an inevitable scramble to finalize all the details the week before it starts. We hit the ground running on Monday, and before we know it we’re taking down decorations on Friday afternoon.

Despite how quickly it goes, I always come away from Vacation Bible School with dozens of sweet, touching, and sometimes goofy stories from campers. I am encouraged by the joy and excitement I see on everyone’s faces.

What really struck me this year was the way the St. Michael’s community came together to show their support for this program. It gives me hope to see so many members of our parish family investing in the lives of young people.

Dozens of parishioners made financial and supply donations, allowing us to finish in the black. More than 45 volunteers donated their time in a variety of roles. Beyond serving as crew leaders and station leaders, volunteers helped with tasks such as shopping, registration, photography, time-keeping, and first aid. The volunteer team was rock solid!

This year was amazing! Volunteers showed up ready to serve every day, holes were filled, and the schedule ran smoothly. The campers were greeted by name each morning. They learned valuable truths about God through songs, games, and activities. They were taught that they are uniquely created by a loving God.

The biggest lesson learned this year is that Vacation Bible School would not be possible without the help of the entire community. Your prayers and support were deeply felt by all involved with VBS 2017. Thank you!

Below is some thoughtful feedback offered by a grandparent:

“The staff overall was wonderful. I was very impressed with the organization and kindness. It all came down to showing the love of Christ and getting the children to the point of knowing that was the key . . . the most important thing. Leadership instilled love, compassion, excitement and curiosity in many different ways. I can hear the Lord saying . . . Well done, good and faithful servant! I say it as well!”

Check out the VBS photo album on Facebook!

Thank you to the teen volunteers for stepping up into a variety of leadership roles:

Kyra Allison
Benny Battaglia
Calvin Battaglia
Camilla Battaglia
Ruby Belt
Eli Bensen
Makayla Engebrits
Zoe Giammaria
Fred Havens
Eva Jara
Max Jara
Evelyn Landes
Ian Landes
Natalie Landes
Charlotte Larson
Jackson Magnusson
Kennedy Magnusson
Porter Mohr
Angus Polino
Johnnie-Rae Polino
Katie Powell
Rubie Riddle
Genesis Rumph
Norah Seymour
Eden Stambaugh
Taylor Tibbels
Anathea Trettin
Rachael Wobby
Joleen Wobby
Noah Zulick

Thank you to the adult volunteers and staff for being flexible and willing to fill in where needed:

Donna Anderson-Reihs
Courtney Battaglia
Jennifer Baxter
Wendy Belt
Anne Bensen
Jane Craig-Jones
Caryn Curran
Kristi de Merlier
Billy Gleason
Karen Gleason
Kerima Gleason
Susan Johnson
Janette Larson
Cole McCabe
Mike Miller
Kaleigh Molineaux
Mike Moreland
Linda Mumford
Perla Perez
Elizabeth Schmutzer
Eric Schmutzer
Fr. Doran Stambaugh
Therese Stambaugh
Megan Stanton
Ginny Unanue
Sandy Yaros

This article was written by Children’s Minister, Becky Gleason.