Photo by Johnny Jackson
More than 250 youths celebrated with a picnic and games at Richard Craig Park in McDonough Friday, as a way to bring to a close Shiloh Baptist Church's week-long Vacation Bible School program.
By Johnny Jackson
Vacation Bible School programs are being offered this month at churches around the Southern Crescent, in an effort to provide area youths a closer, more entertaining look at their faiths.
Shiloh Baptist Church, in McDonough, concluded its week-long program Friday, with a cookout at Richard Craig Park in McDonough.
"We come here, at the end of the week to have a picnic," said church member, Michaela Walker. "It gives the kids time to spread out and play. I like the smaller kids, because they are easier to deal with than the older kids."
The 17-year-old was popular among the smaller children, who nestled under her during the cookout.
Walker volunteered as a children's supervisor in this year's Vacation Bible School program. She said, a year ago, she was a participant in the program, and had been since she was 3 years old.
"It's sort of like a camp, but it teaches more about God," said Walker, one of several young adult volunteers in this year's program.
"We considered ourselves the 'Heroes Headquarters,' where kids joined forces with God," added Sharon Zellner, director of Shiloh's Vacation Bible School.
Zellner said the program achieved one of its largest groups, this year, with 250 participants. She credits the church's outreach and marketing efforts for the increased enrollment.
The program director said she was also pleased with the number of teenagers who turned out. She noted that about 45 teenagers, 13-18, took part in the June 7-11 Vacation Bible School event.
Zellner said the effects of the program are not only to bring children closer to their faith, but to open them up to ways they can become productive, faithful residents.
"I think it's great that they're coming out," Zellner said. "It shows that they are searching, and they're out trying to figure out their place, and what roles they can play.
"We hope that they can come away with a better understanding of the role that they can play, because, sometimes, children think they're too young to make a difference."