Pearl Harbor Memorial Chapel Vacation Bible School finishes 2013 session

071913_25Story and photos by Brandon Bosworth

Staff Writer

Vacation Bible School (VBS) began at Pearl Harbor Memorial Chapel, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam on July 15 and concluded today.

VBS features a different theme every year. The theme this year was “the high seas expedition.”

“Children will be on the lookout for treasures or ‘God stops,’ sightings of ways God is seen in our everyday life,” said Wendy Woodard, VBS director.

Each day of VBS, children learned Bible verses, heard Bible stories, sang songs, did crafts and played games.

One popular activity was the daily Bible-themed short plays put on by drama director Stephanie Durazo. For Durazo, who has been volunteering at VBS for 35 years, getting children to be active participants in the plays is important.

“We could tell these stories in two minutes, but we stretch it out,” she said. “The kids’ participation is key. It helps them learn.”

The sets for the plays are all assembled by volunteers and are redone and rearranged every day for different productions. Each day of VBS, Durazo and her crew stage a new play.

There are roughly 180 children in the program, ranging in age from kindergarten to 5th grade. The older kids assume active leadership roles in helping the younger children.

Vacation Bible School isn’t just about fun activities for kids. The children also work to give back to the community. This year, they are collecting school supplies and socks for the local charity Convoy of Hope.

Most of the people running the program are military spouses or family members who volunteer their time.

“We have about 40 volunteers,” said Woodard. “They are amazing. I couldn’t ask for better volunteers.”

This was Wendy Woodard’s first year as VBS director at Pearl Harbor Memorial Chapel. She was pleased with how things went.

“It went really well,” she said. “The kids really got into it. They had a great time.”

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Category: News