By Margaret Steele

Fort Belvoir Public Affairs


Elementary school children are invited to climb aboard the Rocky Railway, as Fort Belvoir’s Chapel community hosts Vacation Bible School, Aug. 1-5, every evening from 6:30-8:30 p.m. VBS is in and around Belvoir Chapel and the Religious Education Center, 12th Street, and is open to kindergartners through rising sixth-graders. This year’s VBS theme is ‘Rocky Railway … Jesus’ Power Pulls us Through.’

“This will be a safe, wonderful, exciting time for the children who come to VBS,” said Maj. Mary ‘Mel’ O’Malley, community chaplain at Belvoir’s Religious Support Office. “This will be a great chance for children to get to know each other and maybe venture out to socialize for the first time, in a long time.”

O’Malley said the week of Vacation Bible School will incorporate music, arts, activities, role play and drama, all into learning. “It’ll be a great chance for children, parents and those new to the area to meet others and have fun.
“Vacation Bible School will provide a message of good news and hope and is a great opportunity for interaction and to show love and support to these children,” she said.

Sister Michael Bochnowski, director of religious education, echoed O’Malley’s sentiment, saying, “The children have been changed, for so long, and have often been in front of a computer. We can give them more than that at Vacation Bible School, even for a couple hours.”

“We can show them, like they’ve lived for the last year and a half, the power to overcome. And, certainly now, they can appreciate and understand that in their lives,” Bochnowski said.
Bochnowski added she’s so proud of the event’s 72 volunteers. “They are all stepping forward and are excited to put on a great event,” she said.

Interested parents who aren’t able to pick up a VBS registration form at services may request an e-mail form by calling 703-806-3418.

O’Malley said registration is required, to allow VBS planners to adhere to safety and distancing guidelines. “It’ll be a warm and fun event for them, and we’ll move around in age-group pods, for safety.”