Children have fun at ‘Amazon Outfitters’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 20, 2002

Messenger Intern

First Baptist Church in Troy held their annual Bible school this week.

The theme for this year’s week of fun and learning was Amazon Outfitters.

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Bible school is offered for children from preschool age, which is three-year-olds, four-year-olds, and five-year-olds, through sixth grade.

The children are split into groups, all those in preschool, first through third grade and fourth through sixth grade, to ensure that they are taught the bible lesson on a learning level that would most benefit them.

"I am teaching the preschoolers during Bible school this week," said Betsy Gates, a volunteer teacher. "Even though they are young, they are understanding the lessons very well.

The teachers guide breaks the lessons down into a format that can be easily understood by children of a young age.

After I teach a lesson I ask them questions to help them remember what they have learned better.

For example, when we did the lesson on God creating the earth, I asked them afterwards, ‘Who made the butterflies?’ and they would answer right away, ‘God did’."

Children were not the only ones that participated in Bible school this week.

Adults and youth volunteered this week to help with the crafts, music, and other various jobs that were necessary to make the week run smoothly.

Some volunteers were assigned to transport the children from each activity.

In keeping with the Amazon Outfitters theme, they were called "River Guides" and the children who attended Bible School were called "Riberenos."

Each day the Riberenos were taken through five stations, or "sites."

These included, crafts, music, recreation/snack time, missionary study and bible study. The activities at these sites were geared to go along with the bible school lesson for that day.

"We have coordinating music and craft each day according what the lesson is for that day," said Mary DuBose, the director for the Bible school, also known as the "Lead Outfitter".

"We have found that the children remember the lesson so much better when they have a hands on activity to go along with it.

For example, if they learn about God creating everything in the universe and then learn a song that tells the same thing, it will help them to reinforce the lesson in a fun way."

The craft sites give the children a chance to make an item was included in their lesson and also within the Amazon theme.

These crafts included "rain sticks" made from paper towel tubes, duct tape and rice, "bark note cards" made from crumpled brown paper and markers, "bug jars" made for plastic jars, markers and plastic insects, just to name a few.

The crafts that is made each day are determined by the age group.

The music sites give the Riberenos an opportunity to set to music the lessons, which they learn.

The Amazon Outfitters theme song is always sung during the music activity time.

The recreation/snack time is divided to include both activities.

Recreation is free time for the children to run around and release some of the energy that they have built up over the morning.

Snack time is more than simply a chance to chow down on a snack.

The snacks are made according to the Amazon theme.

"One day this week the children had a snack that was made out of a Zebra Cake cut in half and stuck back together with icing in the middle and Twizlers stuck out of the top so that the treat looked like a butterfly," said DuBose.

"The kids loved this because they could go home and tell their parents that they ate butterflies for a snack."

The missionary study site is an activity time for the children to learn about missionaries.

During this time they are taught what missionaries are, where they are possibly located, what needs they have while in the field, why they are spending their time traveling to tell others about God, the importance of their work and what the children and their parents can do to help the missionaries while they are out in the field.

The children were asked to bring a new pair of socks one day during bible school, which will be donated to missionaries.

Another activity that the Riberenos did for the missionaries was to sign a card that would be sent to the sister of a church member who is currently doing missionary work.

The children are also asked to pray for the missionaries everyday, which is one of the biggest ways they can help at home.

The bible study time is when the children learn their lesson for the day.

The lessons are made up and taught according to the age group that will hear it.

During the bible study time memory games are played to help the students remember what they have learned.

"The kids have learned so much this week," said Meredith Kelly, a Bible school helper.

"When we played a review game today, they got all the answers right. No matter what age they are, we can definitely see that they are learning a lot about God."

Amazon Outfitters bible school will continue through this week. The big finale will be help this Sunday night at 6 p.m. at First Baptist Church.