Clockwise from upper right: Chaplain (Capt.) Troy Luttrell, as Moses, talks with children about Passover during Vacation Bible School at Main Post Chapel. Children get a close look at a pair of alpacas during Vacation Bible School. These and other animals enhanced the “Wilderness Escape” theme. Children attending Vacation Bible School at Fort Drum participate in a variety of activities, to include arts and crafts, baking bread and churning butter. (Photos by Mike Strasser, Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs)
Every day offers a new adventure for children attending Fort Drum Vacation Bible School
Fort Drum Garrison Public Affairs
FORT DRUM, N.Y. (Aug. 12, 2021) – Fort Drum youths embarked on an exciting journey of faith and fun during Vacation Bible School, which took place Aug. 9-13 at Main Post Chapel.
This year’s program, “Wilderness Escape,” had children stepping back in time and imagining what it was like for Moses and his followers crossing the desert out of Egypt.
Children learned the importance of having faith, trust and perseverance when faced with difficult challenges. In addition to team-building games and physical activities, attendees learned new songs, made arts and crafts, and listened to Bible readings.
“I think the theme was really fitting, with COVID-19, because some of us may have felt like we’re a little bit in the wilderness,” said Jamie Danielson, director of religious education. “We also chose this theme because we have a multi-faith community here at Fort Drum, and we wanted a program that included all faiths.”
Most of the activities were conducted outside the Main Post Chapel, with nearly a dozen tents set up in marketplace fashion. Children received three gold coins each day to purchase snacks and select two crafts.
“They are making things that they need – basic necessities like sandals – and at each tent they are telling a story about those things and why they need them,” Danielson said. “They are actually making bread and churning butter, and for some kids, this is the first time they’ve ever done this before. They’re having a blast here, and then taking it home and having it for dinner.”
More than 250 children attended the weeklong program, led by a volunteer staff of nearly 100 adults and teenagers, seven chaplains and 10 religious affairs specialists.
“We couldn’t have done this without the support of our staff, our garrison chaplain and the community,” Danielson said. “The PCS (permanent-change-of-station) season was really rough on the chapel community, and we lost 75 percent of our volunteers. Most of the people who volunteered for Vacation Bible School just moved here, and some of them started the same week they arrived. So, it’s been a really big community builder for us. It has just been amazing.”
Danielson said that they originally planned for 100 children, based on attendance from previous years.
“We went up to 200, but then we couldn’t tear people away who wanted to attend and so we went up to 250,” she said. “It’s definitely the biggest VBS we’ve ever had here.”
To learn more about religious education, worship schedules and activities on post, visit https://home.army.mil/drum/index.php/my-fort/all-services/chaplains-office.