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An ‘incredible race’ is coming to St. Paul

-Messenger photo by Kelby Wingert
Lynn Meyer, coordinator for the St. Paul Lutheran Church Vacation Bible School program, is excited to get kids back in the church after a year's hiatus due to COVID-19. The VBS program will run June 21-25.

St. Paul Lutheran Church, 400 S. 13th St., will be hosting a week of Vacation Bible School and an afternoon camp June 21-25.

The church had to cancel its VBS program last year because of COVID-19, but organizers and volunteers are ready to welcome kiddos back into the church for fun Bible lessons, games and activities, said Lynn Meyer, VBS program coordinator.

“We’re super excited,” she said.

St. Paul is doing something new this year, Meyer said. Instead of just having VBS programming in the morning and sending the kids home at lunch, families will have the opportunity to have their kids stay at the church for the afternoon for sports and arts camps.

The Vacation Bible School is open to children 4 years old to fifth grade. It runs from 9 a.m. to noon each day that week and there is no cost to participate.

The afternoon camps are open to kids in first through fifth grades and run from noon to 3 p.m. The cost for the afternoon camps are $10 per child for the week. Kids will choose from a sports camp, featuring basketball and soccer, or a fine arts camp, where they’ll focus on art and cooking.

“We wanted to bring our community in and share the Good News with them, but we also know that many people in our community need a safe, fun place for their kids to be all day,” Meyer said.. “So we developed this idea of having really an all day programming for the kiddos.”

Kids who will be staying for the afternoon camp are asked to bring their own sack lunch. Morning and afternoon snacks will be provided by the church.

For the sports camp, the kids will spend two days playing soccer and two days playing basketball. The art camp will spend two days on art and two days on cooking. The final day of camp, Friday, will be a “Free for All Friday,” Meyer said.

“It’s going to be water balloons and water play and a Christian concert and just this whole fun thing on Friday,” she said.

Meyer said she’s excited about the community involvement this program is bringing. Volunteers from Athletics For Education and Success will be coming in to help with the basketball days, the Blanden Memorial Art Museum is sending art educators for the art days and Iowa State University Extension and Outreach is bringing some of their 4-H educators to teach cooking classes.

“Really it’s a community group that’s working together to provide this offering for our kiddos, so we’re super excited about it,” Meyer said.

The VBS curriculum St. Paul will be using is “The Incredible Race.”

“They’ll be racing through different stations all week long, learning about different continents, and the cultures of the different people and the languages and all these things,” Meyer said.

The lessons show the kids that everyone on Earth is part of God’s family, she said. Some people may look different, sound different, play different games, listen to different music or eat different foods, but they’re all part of the same family and God loves them all.

Both the VBS and the afternoon camps are open to all children in the community. Registration is available online at www.stpaulfd.org. Meyer asks that families register as early as possible to help organizers with planning.

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