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Children use all senses to learn life lessons at Vacation Bible School

Gabriel Schoonmaker, VBS student, hammers a nail into a plank of wood during VBS at the Spiritual Life Center June 9. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Gabriel Schoonmaker, VBS student, hammers a nail into a plank of wood during VBS at the Spiritual Life Center June 9. (Photo by Nathan Pfau)

Published: June 13, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (June 13, 2014) -- Children of all ages on Fort Rucker got the chance to learn life lessons on a biblical scale at this year’s Fort Rucker Vacation Bible School at the Spiritual Life Center.

By focusing on teaching through interaction, this year’s theme for VBS, which runs through June 13, is “Covenant Adventure – God Calls His People,” and children were able to use their senses to learn and create lasting memories, said Nancy Jankoski, Fort Rucker Religious Support Office director of religious education.

Each day of the five-day event consists of a different covenant the children learn about.

Monday was Noah’s covenant, during which children learned how God spared a Family and renewed the world; Tuesday was Abraham’s covenant, during which children learned how God worked with one man to bless all mankind; Wednesday was Moses’s covenant, during which they learned God gave people rules to live by; today is David’s covenant, when children learn that God provided a leader for his people; and Friday will be the new covenant, during which children will learn that Jesus is God’s promised savior.

Along with each theme and covenant, activities are set up for children to utilize their senses to learn.

“It’s all about learning through interaction,” said Jankoski. “We want them to use all of their senses to learn, not to learn the way I did growing up – through worksheets and reading.

“We want them to learn by actually putting themselves in the story,” she said. “You use all five senses that God gave you – you smell things, you taste things, you touch things, you see things and you hear things, and that’s how we want our children to learn. That way they can create a lasting memory.”

During Noah’s covenant, children outside were able to take part in games where they had to retrieve treasures from the “sea,” and inside they were able to use their hands to build and create things, including a boat and masks.

Children were able to get their hands on tools and learn how to hammer a nail into wood under close adult supervision, and then go on to hand craft a toy boat.

One of the most exciting and interactive activities that children got to take part in was the parting of the Red Sea, which was done during the Moses covenant Wednesday, organizers said.

They were able to walk through the Red Sea as Moses did with his people, according to the Bible, all while being pursued by the Egyptian army, who were played by teenage volunteers.

Although Moses and his followers made it through the parted sea, the army following close behind wasn’t as fortunate and the waves “crashed down” upon them, simulated by other volunteers standing by with hoses and water guns.

Children were also able to use their sense of taste and smell as they sampled different baked goods, such as bread with honey, cakes and other treats.

Riley Jones, VBS student, said one of his favorite parts of the experience was the food and story time.

“I really liked the cookies,” he said with a full mouth.

As the children filled their hands with breads and cakes, they ventured into a simulated night-time story time where Amy Cameron, storyteller and volunteer, was there to take them on a journey through biblical times.

The experience runs through Friday, so people still have a chance to get in on the fun.

“We don’t want to turn anyone away, so even if we have to put a child in a different age group just so they can experience the program, we’ll do that,” she said. “As long as we have the room, we’ll try to get you in here.”

For more information, call 255-3946, or visit the religious education center.

This article was originally published at

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