Lauren Blackwell, 10 (from left), Beverly Harrington, 10, and Brandon Blackwell, 12, fix hamburgers during the Prince of Peace Evangelical Church vacation Bible school. The school is for ages 3 through eighth grade.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
As the summer rolls in, so do thoughts of vacation Bible schools for some parents.
But for many, the traditional day camps are now making the switch to evening meetings as more and more parents work and more children are put in day care.
Local churches, many of which made the change to evenings years ago, have struggled with whether to keep vacation Bible school during the day or to move it to nighttime when more children are able to attend.
"We have had it in the evening in the past, and it worked out well," said Mike Kupferer, youth minister at Westside Christian Church in Martinez where vacation Bible school kicked off yesterday with a carnival in the church parking lot. "We've had a good response," because they wouldn't have transportation.
"Every time I've done it, it seems to work better at night," Kupferer said. "I'm from the North - Indiana - and we always have it at night. It's just easier for the parents to get there."
At First Baptist Church of Evans, where Bible school also runs from 6-9 p.m., parents have expressed an interest in having evening meetings, church officials said.
But for some churches, deciding whether to keep vacation Bible school during the traditional daytime hours was more about keeping the evenings for family time.
"The main thing was families wanted to be together at night," said Meredith Edwards, director of the Church of Our Savior's vacation Bible school. "Also, it was a baby-sitting issue. Those were the two factors."
Melanie Herbold (from left) Natalie Smith and Matt Herren rehearse for a bible story skit that they were going to mpresent during the Prince of Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church vacation Bible school. The school is for children ages 3 through eighth grade.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
With the Church of Our Savior one of the few churches offering day meetings this year, Edwards said she hopes that means an increase in participation at their camp later this month.
"We had about 45 participate last year, and that was good," she said. "We could have 70, and that would really be stretching it."
Here is a list of upcoming vacation Bible schools in Columbia County:
Church of Our Savior
Church of Our Savior (Episcopal) will hold vacation Bible school 9 a.m.-noon June 21-25 at the church, 4227 Columbia Road, Martinez. For information and pre-registration, call 863-1718.
Powell Baptist Church will hold a youth program with a Far East theme 6-9 p.m. June 7-11 at the church, 1577 Old Appling-Harlem Highway in Harlem, for ages 3 years to eighth grade. For information, call 556-3771.
Vacation Bible school at First Baptist Church of Evans will be 6-9 p.m. June 7-11, with Bible study, arts, crafts and recreation. An adult class, "The Spirituality of Stress," will be conducted June 9-10 by Chaplain Hank Flowers. For information, call 863-1228.
Westside Christian Church will hold vacation Bible school 6-9 p.m. June 7-11 at the church, 4352 Columbia Road. For information, call 863-6281.
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