Children Experienced and Discovered God Everywhere at Camp E.D.G.E., Traer's Ecumenical Vacation Bible School that was held August 3-6 at St. Paul Catholic Church in Traer. VBS kicked off with a hot dog roast for children and their families on Sunday, August 2. Families heard a sampling of VBS music, played games, toured the church and grounds, which were decorated with a camping/outdoor extreme adventure sports theme, and of course, enjoyed the hot dog roast, complete with camping favorite, s'mores.
Each day participants began the morning with music, a visit from Extreme Jean via DVD, and a skit from the children's favorite duo, Blaze the camp director, and a silly fox named Sparx. Next, children traveled to five different learning stations: Ice Cave Crafts, Rec Plex, Exploration Ridge (science experiments), Snack Express/Misisons, and Extreme Bible Trek. The children took a trek each day to learn about a different Bible story. The first trek led to the Promised Land, where Joshua assisted children in crossing the Jordan River. On Tuesday, children followed a star, leading them to Bethlehem and the birth of a new King, Jesus. Wednesday's journey ended in the Upper room, where Jesus washed the disciples' feet, teaching children how to serve other people. The last trek ended in Galilee; children found out that Jesus died and was raised from the dead to live forever and how to spread that great news. Each day concluded with music and another skit with Blaze and Sparx. Children enjoyed lunch on the lawn before going home for the day. A VBS closing celebration was held at the Main Stage at the Winding Stairs Festival on August 7. Children shared what they learned throughout the week and sang their VBS songs for the community.
Eighty-seven children attended VBS as students, thirty-four jr./sr. high students were helpers, and fourty-seven adults assisted in various ways from teaching, helping prepare food, decorating, taking photographs, etc. Camp E.D.G.E.directly involved 168 people this year.
Children at Traer’s Ecumenical Vacation Bible School participated in Penny Wars to raise money for C.H.A.T. VBS participants gave Dorothy Weida, representing C.H.A.T. (Christian Hands Across Traer) a check for $500.
Photo by Amy Jantzen
Mission items were collected every day for local charities, and participants were very generous with their donations. Approximately 150 items were brought in for Traer's food pantry, more than 1,100 clothing articles for "The Closet," approximately 175 school supplies for North Tama School, and $500, collected through penny wars between the five VBS groups, was donated to C.H.A.T. (Christian Hands Across Traer).
Each year a committee representing all five churches in Traer work together to plan an ecumenical vacation bible school for area children, regardless of church affiliation or lack thereof. A nominal fee is charged for children to attend, and for several years we have received a generous grant from the Traer Community Foundation, enabling us to continue this valuable experience for our children. Plans are already underway for next year's Traer EVBS.