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Community Vacation Bible School at “Camp Moose on the Loose”

July 26, 2018
Northern-Sun Print
The VBS campers swarmed Peace Church from July 9-13 as they enjoyed the annual Community Vacation Bible School at “Camp Moose on the Loose”. Woody the moose, plus all kinds of wildlife, greeted the campers around a cozy fire, lighted evergreen trees, a huge tent, and a sign post with all kinds of helpful and colorful directional arrows in the altar campsite. Fifty-two campers followed their “trail map” (student books) and learned about God’s forever forgiveness and how to experience it for ourselves. Each night the kids pretended to get into a boat with Peter and to walk along with Jesus as He shows love and forgiveness to the people He meets. Peter often failed, but Jesus forgave him. Peter even lied and said he didn’t know Jesus! Now that’s a big failure. But God forgiveness is bigger. Many times we are just like Peter, failing, sinning, and needing forgiveness. Along the wilderness trail of life, there are plenty of occasions to fall. But the VBS kids found encouragement at Camp Moose on the Loose. God wants to forgive and restore us with just as much love as when He forgave Peter. Each night VBS started with a welcome from our VBS Leader, Rev. Barb Muhs, Salem Church. The kids enjoyed singing the theme song “Camp Moose on the Loose”. A ranger with the National Park Service, Rev. Paul Knupp, Peace Church, and Rev. Muhs did a puppet skit. The main character being Woody the Moose (Stella Betts). Woody gets himself in all kinds of trouble because he doesn’t obey the park rules just like sometimes we sin, too. Woody loved laughing at his own jokes. After story time, the kids were off to their own rooms and teachers. There were twenty- 3 & 4 year olds. There teacher was Tiffany Roenfeldt with helpers Tandi Davis, Chris Hickman, Chelsea Cheville, Jamie Schmidt, Jhona Gallo, Stella Betts, and Jordan Sherman. Karen Mussig was the teacher in the K-1st grade room, 15 students, with Beth Murty and Cathy Barnes as her aides. Beth Koester taught the 2-3rd graders, 7 in all, with Courtney Millard as her aide. The oldest group, 4-5th graders, 10 total , had Jennifer Smith as their teacher with Mandy Gehring as her aide. Each teacher taught the lesson out of the student book and helped the kids with a craft. The kids loved the “Moose on the Loose” music. Each class learned their own song besides the theme song. Laura Bru was the music leader with her daughter, Lilly, helping and Jenny Schmitz and Brian Lage running the projector and screen. Even though it was pretty hot outside the kids loved their activity time especially if it included anything with water. The youngest class had a lot of fun with water balloons! Activities were planned by Jackie Stephenson and her aides were Susan Beichley, Jasmin Terven, Keisha Lockhart, Rev. Gideon Gallo, and Ruthie Gallo. Thanks to the congregation of our area churches cookies and juice brought a smile to all the campers. The kitchen committee was Linda Randolph, Lori Sanderson, Mary Millard, and Cara Ferch. About 8:00 Laura led the kids in song and singing “The Best Place” with the lyrics “We’re glad to be here at Vacation Bible School”. Rev. Gideon Gallo, Gladbrook UMC , stated the daily memory topic and closed with a prayer or song. Thursday night was a special night for the campers as they presented a musical program for their family members. Camp Moose on the Loose was really rockin’ with the upbeat music and the very fun and entertaining hand motions. Everyone enjoyed refreshments after the program and seeing their child’s room. The parents were presented a cabin picture frame that the kids made and decorated with evergreen trees. They wrote their name on the front . Deb Osborn took each campers’ picture and it was placed in the frame. It was a very nice keepsake of VBS 2018. The drawing was held for the campers that registered early. Four received a stuffed moose. The Camp Moose on the Loose cooler was given to who else Rev. Barb “MUHS”. When VBS Directors Jodi Betts and Jeanne Paustian decided on the theme, they called Rev. Barb right away and said, “We need a moose for our Moose on the Loose!”. The first night of VBS Brian Lage played a Utube video of the “Wave”. Almost all the kids in the State of Iowa know what the “Wave” is, and have seen it done either in person or on TV. During an Iowa Hawkeye football game at the end of the first quarter everyone in the stadium, including the team, coaches, and refs stand and wave to the kids on the top floors of the hospital. This tradition was started by several mothers who have or had children as patients in the hospital. After only one game the parents realized how their children and others were so energized and pumped up by this simple act of kindness and faith. The “wave” also taught our children that some aren’t near as fortunate as they are. The VBS offering was donated to the University of Iowa Stead Family Children’s Hospital Child Life Fund to be used for activities and crafts for the children’s Tail Gate Party during each home football game. On Thursday when the parents, grandparents, and family members attended VBS, Deb Osborn recorded everyone waving to the kids from the 2018 Community Vacation Bible School. The video was emailed to the “Hawkeye Heaven” web site and face book where as of Sunday there was 8,000 hits. Several of the campers set the offering goal at $250. They decided if they made the goal they wanted to do something to one of the directors namely Jeanne. Jeanne who didn’t want to get her hair dyed or anything else told the kids “you make your $250 goal” and I will match it! Well the kids were thrilled with that.The total offering raised was an amazing $1437.41 for the children’s hospital. Friday came way too quickly as the campers met at Westbrook Acers to sing for the residents. By the smiles on the resident’s faces we knew they enjoyed having and listening to the kids. The activity for the night was walking down to Peace Church as their supper awaited them. Thanks to Westbrook the kids enjoyed hotdogs and chips. Peace Church treated the kids to smores that evening. What would a camping trip be without marshmallows and chocolate bars! Surprises were handed out to all the campers. VBS 2019 will be hosted by the Salem Church in Lincoln. Thanks again to everyone that helped in any way to make “ Camp Moose on the Loose” a fun but meaningful experience for all our children.

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