Sweet summer mornings and evenings soon will be filled with crafts, Bible lessons, songs and sports at area vacation Bible schools -- each with different themes, but all with the same message.
"They learn the good news of Jesus Christ, that is the main topic," said Sheila Sulak, whose five children have attended vacation Bible school at The Church of the Cross in Bluffton for several years.
"They learn about Jesus through different things such as stories, crafts, and music is a huge component," she said. The children get to take home CDs that are gospel-oriented. The great outdoors will be featured in The Church of the Cross camp with the theme of "Gospel Light's Sonrise National Park."
"It is a great opportunity to bring Jesus to the kids in the neighborhoods," Sulak said. "They all went and they enjoyed it."
Even after summer is over, VBS memories live on. "They talk about their experiences when they go back to school," Sulak said. "They ask each other, 'What VBS were you at?' I think attending VBS is something all kids do in their life."
Varying themes are offered at the schools.
Two churches, The Parish Church of St. Helena and Praise Assembly, are combining their efforts for vacation Bible school this year with a sports-themed week.
Students at Island Lutheran Church VBS will be helping needy children by assembling backpacks with special items as a part of Operation Kid-to-Kid.
Red Dam Baptist Church Vacation Bible School -- "Amazing Wonders Aviators": 6 p.m. June 10 and 6:30 p.m. June 11-15, Red Dam Baptist Church, 488 Red Dam Church Road, Hardeeville. Free; refreshments will be served. 843-784-6083. www.reddambaptist church.org
Okatee Baptist Church Vacation Bible School -- "Amazing Wonders": Ages 3 through sixth-graders. 6-8:30 p.m. June 10-15, with a commencement ceremony at 6 p.m. June 15, 5467 North Okatie Highway, S.C. 170, Okatie. Free; supper will be served. 843-757-0286. www.okateebaptistchurch.com
Gospel Light's Sonrise National Park Vacation Bible School: Ages 3 1/2 to fifth-graders. 9 a.m.-noon June 11-15, with a Friday Night Family Bash on June 15, The Church of the Cross, 495 Buckwalter Parkway, Bluffton. Free. Register by May 30. 843-757-2661. www.thechurchofthecross.net
"Beyond the Gold" sports VBS for The Parish Church of St. Helena and Praise Assembly: For ages 4-12. 9 a.m.-12:15 p.m. June 18-22, Praise Assembly, 800 Parris Island Gateway, Beaufort. $50; families with three or more children pay $45 a child. 843-522-1712, ext. 204. www.sthelenas1712.org
Island Lutheran Church Pandamania VBS: Ages 4-12.9-11:30 a.m. June 18-22, Green's Shell Park on Squire Pope Road on Hilton Head Island. Free. 843-689-5200. www.island lutheran.org
Veggie Fun World 2012 at the Parish Church of St. Helena: June 25-29, July 16-20, Aug. 13-17 and Aug. 27-31. Sessions I, II and III are for children 18 months through 6 years of age. Session IV is designed to equip toddlers (2 and younger) for school. 507 Newcastle St., Beaufort. $130 ld. 843-522-1712, ext. 220. email@example.com. www.sthelena1712.org
St. Helena Baptist Church -- "Amazing Wonders. Awesome God!": 6-8:30 p.m. July 9-13, St. Helena Baptist Church, 1608 Sea Island Parkway, St. Helena Island. Free. 843-838-3109. firstname.lastname@example.org. www.shbchurch.org