Saints and angels were smiling with pride this summer as God’s children experienced faith in a fun and interactive way.
In mid-August St. Rose of Lima Parish in North Wales hosted its first-ever Vacation Bible School. The program was called “A Radical Ride on the Wings of Prayer with Amazing Angels and Super Saints,” and throughout the week the participants “traveled” all over the world courtesy of Catholic Chat Airlines.
Jane Selner and Chris Anderson, co-directors of this year’s program, designed the layout of the program for the campers and put together a set of stations for the children that enabled each group to get the full experience of hands-on learning.
“We are so excited to be able to offer this to our St. Rose families,” said Selner. “It is a great program and the kids loved it. We hope this is the beginning of many more years of Vacation Bible School here at St. Rose of Lima.”
“It has been such a great experience seeing all the kids participating,” said Anderson. “They get so excited about it and they make it such a memorable time.”
Each day, the campers visited four stations: Faith, Music, Snack and Game, and Crafts. Throughout the week, at the craft station the campers made rosaries, angel figures and more including a passport that they had stamped at the close of every day to show where they had been on their travels.
The program sent the children to a different destination each day with a different saint and culture to experience. Selner and Anderson helped keep the themes going by dressing up as the saint of the day.
“On Monday I was an angel, welcoming the passengers to Cat Chat Airlines,” Selner said, “and Tuesday I dressed as St. Faustina because we were visiting Poland and learning about the Divine Mercy and St. John Paul II.”
Following suit, Anderson said, “I dressed as Juan Diego for the last day because we were visiting Mexico and learning all about Our Lady of Guadalupe.”
During their travels, the campers participated in games that taught them about responsibility, trust and teamwork. The games involved competitions and group activities where the children had to rely on each other and help each other to complete tasks.
Karen Haynie, one of the Snack and Game leaders, said, “One of the days we had them learn how to make a human knot, and they had to use teamwork to untangle themselves. One of their favorites was the suitcase relay. They had to pack a suitcase, run as fast as they could around the airport, and unpack the suitcase. Then the next person on their team took over.
“They were so excited and jumped right in. Cheering each other on and helping their teammates. It was a lot of fun.”
By the end of the week, the children did not want the fun to end. There were questions such as “Is it really over?” and “Can we come back next week?” as well as exclamations such as “I hope we can do this every summer!” and “This was awesome!”
The excited campers got together for a rousing closing ceremony and cheers in celebration of a great week.
“It was great seeing the kids getting involved and actually learning about prayer and active worship,” Anderson said. “I think they really enjoyed themselves. I know we did.”