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Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Readiness Enabler for Operational Forces  •
Vacation Bible school teaches christian character

By Cpl. Denyelle D. Spillane | | May 22, 2003

In an otherwise quiet place, music blared and children played games every evening at the Base Chapel last week. 

The setting for church services was decorated with a magnificent cutout that may have reminded someone of a London street.

This year's Vacation Bible School was held May 18 to 22.

The theme for this year's VBS was "The Great Christian Caper," and the children's motto was, "discover it, believe it, live it."

According to Lt. Commander Roger Richards, chaplain, the theme was based on London sleuths. The children pretended to be detectives cracking a code: the character code.

An average of 60 children, ages 3 to the 7th grade, participated every day in activities that included music, arts and crafts, games and Bible studies.

"The activities not only kept the children active and entertained, they also taught them about the Bible," said Richards.

Twenty-nine people volunteered to help with the children for VBS.

"We had a lot more people help than just the volunteers," Richards said. "We had people help us prepare for VBS, helped cook, and helped decorate."

Jacqueline Clark is one of the many volunteers who has volunteered every year.

"It's as much fun for me as it is for the children," Clark said.

This is Clark's third year volunteering to teach and conduct the music.

The children also have Bible study.

Every night a different Bible lesson was taught about Christian character traits. 

The children also learned a Bible verse every day and were given a long verse at the beginning of the week to learn on their own.

In keeping with their lessons, the children also raised money to donate to a local charity.

"Everyday we took up an offering from the children," Richards said. "We also collected items that we thought our selected charity would need."

All the money that was raised went to "Open Arms," a shelter for battered spouses and children.

The last day of VBS, a representative from Open Arms, accepted the $152.64 and three boxes of items that were collected throughout the week from the children.

The children had ulterior motives for their giving though. The boys and girls were separated onto teams. If the girls raised the most money they would get to tar and feather the chaplain with syrup and rice crispies, if the boys won they would get to tar feather Laura Bowser.

The girls won again this year and Richards ended the last night of VBS sticky and covered in rice crispies.

The children also preformed the songs they learned in VBS for their parents and the congregation Sunday at the base chapel.

"It was a great team effort by all of the volunteers and because of them, VBS was a complete success," Richards said.