NIAGARA FALLS — The week of Aug. 7-11 was a flurry of activity as the St. Vincent de Paul Parish Center was transformed into Snowflake Station. During Vacation Bible School Week, the program Operation Arctic Adventure was used, and over 35 children learned about the "coolest book on the planet," the Bible.
Each day began with "top of the world tunes," lively and energetic children's praise songs to which the children moved and grooved. As they proceeded to their winter cabin to seek shelter, students sang the song, "I Have Decided to Follow Jesus," which was the anthem for the week. They became explorers as they searched for, and discovered, the message of many Bible stories throughout the week.
After each day's opening prayer, a dedicated catechist gave the daily Scripture lesson. Some of the stories the children explored were the conversion of St. Paul, the House Built upon Rock, and the story of Martha and Mary.
Throughout the week, an emphasis was placed on how God revealed his love in the Bible throughout salvation history. Teachers creatively used puppets to engage students in learning. Following each day's lesson, students had an avalanche of fun as they worked on Bible-themed crafts and completed an "Adventure Log" highlighting the beauty of God's creation through animals that live in the polar regions.
The children also enjoyed a prayer station where they made prayer pillows and prayer cubes, and came to understand prayer through the lens of a seed that grows into a beautiful flower. They prayed by the tabernacle in the church and came to greater understanding of the presence of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Klondike Korner was the featured destination for snack time each day, where the children cooled down with s'mores, snowflake cookies and Klondike bars.
A group of "Terrific Teens" from St. Vincent de Paul Parish ran the outside game station called Glacier Gap for the week. The teens simulated ice fishing and played a beanbag toss game they invented called, "Feed the Polar Bear." As the week ended, many students wished they could continue into the following week.
Operation Arctic Adventure ended with a short program where the children sang some of the songs they learned, recited a poem, and shared what they learned. A picnic lunch with parents and children concluded a great week of acquiring new knowledge about God and the Bible. Great volunteers with a wonderful sense of ministry made this special week happen.