Kids might be on summer vacation, but there are schools still in session — for the spirit.
Vacation Bible schools are in full swing, with several planned throughout the summer and the fall. They offer spiritual growth and learning in a summer camp style.
Mount Olive Lutheran Church’s vacation Bible school started Monday and will continue until Friday, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. each night. This year, instead of snacks, the church is providing kids and parents with dinner beforehand, starting at 5:15 p.m.
The theme this year is “Power Up” — a relatable way to bring the message of the Bible to Lake Havasu City’s youth, Event Coordinator Jenifer Clark said.
“It combines the familiar experience of gaming — where a character is given special abilities with added bonuses to help a character complete a mission — with real life ways the gamer can ‘level up’ using God’s word as their added bonus,” Clark said. “For example, how they can be stronger together in their communities, how they can be encouraged in times of need, how they can encourage others and where God is present in their lives, always there when they need Him.”
The goal is to “engage, uplift, and support kids and their families, bringing them into a closer relationship with God and ways they can help in their communities,” she said.
Their first day was a success, and they’re looking forward to the rest of the week. About 30 kids are currently registered, with 16 parents planning to attend a special parent vacation Bible school as well. Mount Olive is still accepting registrations, which can be found at tinyurl.com/b6u47zum.
Ensuring that success is no easy feat. Vacation Bible school requires months of preparation, Clark said, and involves collecting volunteers and supplies, and creating an engaging space with decor. Food, curriculum, advertising, and audio visual elements must also be planned. Volunteers require coordination to ensure all are trained, educated, and aware of their roles and responsibilities.
All of that planning begins in January each year.
“Last year we were closed due to the pandemic,” Clark said, “so this year when we began planning in January, we had to make extra precautions and planning not knowing what June would bring us.”
Every year, their vacation Bible school attendees contribute to the community by helping the church support a specific mission. This year, that mission is ensuring Havasu’s students are well-prepared for the new school year by collecting school supplies and backpacks. Vacation Bible school is kicking that effort off.
School supplies and backpacks can be donated to Mount Olive through June and July. Backpacks filled with supplies will be offered to families in need at their Sunday School Rally Day, annually held the last Sunday before Lake Havasu Unified School District resumes.
The event, themed “Monster Truck Rally Day,” will be held in the Fellowship Hall on Aug. 1 around 11:30 a.m. after their 10 a.m. service. During the event, families can register for Sunday School, play games, and take home toy monster trucks.