VBS 2017: Hero Central
St. Dunstan’s hosted its 6th annual Vacation Bible School (VBS) during the last week of June. The theme was Hero Central, where 41 kids, 27 teen counselors and many adult volunteers learned that we are all God’s Superheroes. We capped off an amazing week with our Family Night Celebration, where we shared all we learned with our families: that God’s Heroes Have Heart, Courage, Wisdom, Hope, and Power; and that we should always “Do Good! Seek peace and go after it!” (Psalm 31:14b). Following the Family Night presentation, we all came together in community with a picnic supper in Fellowship Hall that featured “Hero” sandwiches.
In addition to our Bible, crafts, music, science and recreation lessons, this year we had two field trips that tied into the curriculum, visiting our local superheroes at the Dover Police Station on Tuesday and the Dover Fire Station on Friday. Thanks to Officer David Chaisson, who gave us a tour of the Police Station and a police car; thanks also to Firemen John, Rich and Dan at the Dover Fire Station for showing us around before they got called away into action!
Each year, the children at VBS collect coins for a charity. This year, in honor of these local heroes, the children raised $199.71 for the Dover Police Association and $199.71 for the Dover Fireman’s Relief Fund. They raided their piggy banks, asked for donations, did chores, and some even held a lemonade stand (and got a thank you visit from Dover PD!).
Once again, some of the CITs and counselors did an outreach project of their own after VBS each day. This year, they held two bake sales to raise money for the Lighthouse Organization (www.lighthousechildren.com), which houses orphaned and abandoned children around the world. They chose this group because one of the CITs, 8th grader Cecilia Fielding, is going on a mission trip with this group to Tres Rios, Costa Rica, in July with her grandmother’s church. Through their efforts they raised $436.67 for this group!
Thanks to all who participated to make VBS a success!
VBS 2016 – The Surf Shack
Shine Bright! We had a wonderful week at VBS 2016 – and a record year: 54 campers, 20 counselors/CITs, and more than 16 adult volunteers, all coming together to Ride the Wave of God’s Amazing Love at the Surf Shack. During the week, the children learned that God Creates, Helps, Loves, Calms and Sends. Amazing!
In addition to all the fun we had, the campers held a coin drive, raising more than $760 for Holy Innocents School in Labeque, Haiti; the counselors had their own outreach project, raising more than $745 for Operation Smile, their charity of choice.
Thank you to our amazing team of adult and teen volunteers! Your time, dedication and support make VBS not only possible, but you help create a loving environment for children to learn about God – and have fun! We could not have VBS without you. Special thanks to Father Sean for jumping right in and leading our assembly as the Skipper to Emma’s Snappy the Crab. Thanks also to Kyle Bertulli for sharing his love of music with the children and creating a space for them to sing their hearts out about God’s love, and also to Aidan Cunningham for helping manage all the paperwork.
A huge thanks to all our wonderful volunteers: Emma Baer (Story Deck – Bible Lesson), Tammy Bishop and Danya Mavor (Craft Hut – Arts & Crafts), Kate Haviland (Discovery Dunes – Science), Kyle Bertulli and Laura Young (Tidal Tunes – Music), Anna Conrades and Audrey Ensor (Recreation Station), Janet DeBevoise and Rachel Motley (Snack Shack), and Marie Nagode (Yoga Day). We are also help from the additional help of Hannah Bowles, Joanne Crispin, Lynn Petrasch and Sandy Uhlig, as well as the Men O’St. Dunstan’s for help setting up: Rick Crispin, George Motley, Jim Nail, Grant Stephen and Bill Wickham.
We are so happy to celebrate 5 years of VBS at St Dunstan’s, and we are looking forward to many more to come!
– Amelia Slawsby and Emma Baer, VBS Co-Chairs
VBS 2015 – The G-FORCE: God’s Love in Action
It was another great year for VBS at St. Dunstan’s! We had a full house – 39 campers, 16 teen volunteers and 18 adult volunteers – and while the heat index was high the 3rd week in August, so was God’s love in these children.
We learned key words for each day – move, act, care, share and follow – that corresponded to the daily Bible lesson and taught us how we can put God’s love into action. In addition to a Bible lesson, each day we went through zones for arts & crafts, science experiments, music and recreation. We enjoyed starting each morning off with a daily video message and prayer from Rev. Audrey. The week ended on a high note with our Family Night Celebration, where we shared what we learned with our families and had dinner.
Ten of our middle and high schoolers also stayed late each day to work on an outreach project. The project was run entirely by our teens, with Allie Newlon and Iona Stephen taking the lead. The group decided to raise money for the Black Jaguar-White Tiger Foundation. They had a drive-thru bake sale, advertising it to VBS parents with a flyer; they also took to social media and hit the street to get the word out. They raised $389 and change! We are so proud of them for their efforts.
Gratitude is given to all the VBS volunteers, without whom VBS couldn’t happen. The lead teachers were: Tammy Bishop and Kate Haviland, who spent countless hours prepping crafts and science experiments; Anna Conrades and Audrey Ensor who lead the recreation activities; and Janet DeBevoise and Rachel Motley, who provided snacks and the daily snack set-up. Tina Johnson, director of Christian Formation, participated on the planning committee and served as the lead music teacher for the week, and Aidan Cunningham provided administrative support. Amelia Slawsby and Emma Baer, whose begin planning in January, served as co-chairs; Emma Baer also served as the lead Bible teacher. Many children from the surrounding communities participated in VBS, along with St Dunstan’s own youth, and the gift of spreading God’s love to all of these young people is indeed an act of grace and love.