August 18, 2013, Hillendale, MD - It has been a roller coaster ride at the Loch Raven United Methodist Church for thirty-eight children this past week as they have been discovering how to manuever life's ups and downs at Vacation Bible School. Viola Watson-Bean, director of the IMPROVE Children's Center, coordinated the week of exciting learning activities that provided the children with life-long lessons for dealing with challenging times. During the church's worship service on August 18, the VBS children shared a song they learned during their VBS music workshop session.Comparing their fears of roller coaster scares during speedy twists and turns children were challenged with daring to speak, stand strong, believe, trust and to change
when faced with life's many turns. Their day began with a clown-led rally and appearances by a 6 foot tall penguin. They also had a lesson in handling finances and budgets as the children were given a token budget to spend each day at their indoor amusement park of skill challenges. Included in the week full of activities were sand and foot print craft workshops, creating microphones out of cups for communicating, making and eating roller coasters made out of licorice and mini marshmallows, and collecting coins for missions. When parents first saw the auditorium filled with a roller coaster, ferris wheel and midway of games, many returned the following day with their cameras as they were amazed with the fun-filled colorful, light sparkling setting for their children's learning experience. As the week came to a close, everyone was sad their time together was over. Their teachers Connie Stewart and Roslyn Butler, a retired school teacher were also upset that the week went by so quickly realizing they would not be spending each day with these wonderful kids. As their roller coaster ride of learning came to an end, children were saying; "I had so much fun that I can't wait until next year", "I had a blast!". Both the children and church members will remember their week of new friends, new skills and new words of wisdom to help guide the children in a new school year.