Fort Irwin kids got a chance to learn and have fun last week during Vacation Bible School, an annual event run through the installation’s chapel and religious education offices.
Two hundred forty-five kids and more than 100 adult and teen volunteers participated in VBS, which is one of the largest chapel activities on post each year. From July23-27, children spent half of each day at Center Chapel in a camp-like atmosphere learning about the Bible through hands-on activities and games.
“We’re trying to create as much of a normal hometown atmosphere as we can,” said Bill Agnew, director of religious education. “The military families have a lot of unique stresses, so we want to make things fun and meaningful for them.”
A large percentage of children who attended VBS were new to Fort Irwin, Agnew said, and the fact that every Army garrison hosts VBS means it’s an event that can provide a measure of continuity in a life that can have a lot of uncertainty.
“(VBS) is something they can look forward to every year at every garrison,” Agnew said.
Andrew Ross, 12, said his favorite activity at VBS was called “imagination station” and involved using a hairdryer to keep a ball airborne.
“I learned a lot this week,” Ross said. “I had fun.”
Tony Owens, 11, said he made some new friends at VBS and also enjoyed the “imagination station.”
“I learned that you should trust God,” he said.
Marcia Moreno, 10, said she enjoyed singing and called VBS “the funnest church” she’d ever attended.
Keeping 245 kids moving smoothly through five different activity stations each day was no small feat, and Agnew credited the volunteers with making the event a success.
Jessica Secrest, a volunteer director for VBS, said the teen volunteers had been especially helpful and responsible.
“Our teen volunteers this year have been amazing,” she said.