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Saturday, December 20, 2014
Vacation Bible School
Kids get a message to treasure
Andrew Hackmack/Herald
Jacqueline Bassey, far right, a volunteer at St. William the Abbot’s vacation Bible school, led the kids in song on Aug. 13. The program ran for two weeks.

Children went on a treasure hunt at St. William the Abbot School earlier this month, and what they found was an encouraging message.

The parish hosted its annual vacation Bible school from Aug. 4-15. While the change from July to August kept enrollment down, energy levels remained high among both campers and counselors.

Sister Meghan McArdle, who has directed the program since 2001, said there were 46 participants the first week, and 36 the second week, with many attending the full program. It was open to children entering pre-K through fifth-grade, and held on weekday mornings at the parish school.

McArdle said it was a good mix of children who attend St. William the Abbot School and those in public schools, giving them a chance to make new friends.

Each morning, everyone got together in the gymnasium to go over the daily message and Bible passage. They would gather again shortly before noon for songs and prayers. In between, the groups rotated among different activities including arts and crafts, music, games and Bible study.

The goal of the program, McArdle said, was to have children understand that God loves them, and to learn how to treat each other with respect.

Katie Moulder, 10, who attends St. William the Abbot School, said she looks forward to vacation Bible school every summer. “I love this program,” she said. “It’s so much fun. In the beginning of the year, I can’t wait for the summer.”

Among her favorite activities were arts and crafts, and listening to Bible stories and acting them out. Moulder will be a fifth-grader at the school in the fall, so this was her last year attending the camp but she would like to return as a counselor in the future.

This year, there were 70 volunteer counselors, ranging from seventh-graders to college students. “We’re very fortunate that the volunteers are very good,” McArdle said. “Most of the volunteers went through the Bible school themselves.”

That’s the case for Deirde Muirhead, 17, who just graduated from Seaford High School and will attend Bentley University. As a volunteer, she would supervise the children, get them to their daily activities and make sure they were having fun. She also planned theme days.

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