THIS WEEK in Glenelg, some 6-year-olds have become scientists, some 10-year-olds have become curators and others have become surveyors, excavators, geologists and explorers.
If you think some digging is going on, you're right. Glenelg United Methodist Church is holding its vacation Bible school, and the theme is "The Great Bibleland Dig."
Donna Brackins is the coordinator of the program, which offers 110 children age 3 through fifth grade the chance to learn more about the life of Jesus Christ.
"The Great Bibleland Dig will help participants explore the various roles Jesus plays in their lives," Brackins said. "They will be engaged in exciting activities that also teach them about life in Jesus' time. They will learn how the events of Jesus' life connect them with God's plan for their lives."
On Tuesday, the fifth-grade class, known as Curators, read and discussed a passage in the book of Luke. In it, Jesus visits the home of Martha and Mary. While Mary sits and listens to Jesus, Martha is cleaning and preparing a meal. When Martha complains that she is doing all the work, Jesus tells her that she is worrying too much and that Mary has chosen the right thing to do by sitting and listening to him.
Teachers Patty Post and Bill Ballentine helped their pupils understand the passage by leading a class exercise in which the children took on the roles of each of the three biblical figures. The girls and boys then demonstrated how they would feel in the situation and talked about those feelings.
Tom Wolf said that Martha would have felt glad when she answered the door and saw Jesus. Katie Hunt said that Martha probably felt angry while she was doing all the work.
Later the children did an exercise that required them to look up several Scripture passages. Post worked with Tom, his twin brother, Tyler, Christopher Reitz and Jimmy Herriotts. Ballentine provided assistance to Katie, Stephanie Ulman, Kimberly Killebrew and Bethany Besseck.
Across the hall, the Surveyors, or second-graders, were singing their hearts out. Each class participates in music for 20 minutes a day. Laural Clark is music coordinator, and she sings almost nonstop for the three hours the program runs.
Susan Walker, one of the kindergarten teachers, helped the Scientists play parachute games on the front lawn of the church. She said that the children enjoy being with each other and participating in the activities.
The children also participate in community service projects coordinated by Melany Graydon. She has asked the children to bring in a monetary offering or an item that could be packed into a beach bag. The children have been bringing in buckets, sunglasses, towels, bubbles, books and toys. The money will be used to purchase sunscreen for each bag.
The class plans to donate the bags to Grant-A-Wish Foundation, which gives them to children with life-threatening illnesses who participate in its Children's Health by the Sea program in Ocean City. Last year, the children filled 33 beach bags. Graydon said they are hoping to fill at least 40 or 50 this year.
Brackins has coordinated the vacation Bible school program for 13 years. Her 19-year-old son, Josh, also has been involved, either as a participant or helper, for the past 15 years. Children older than fifth grade are encouraged to assist with the program.
The teachers are volunteers, and a minimal fee is collected from the participants to cover the cost of program materials. Many items, such as snacks, are donated.
The program closes tomorrow evening with a potluck dinner for families and a presentation by the children.
Certified kick boxer
Triumph Health and Fitness Center in Glenwood says that Rick Kain recently received certification in kick boxing from the International Sports Conditioning Association Board of Certification and Training.
"The kick box exercise program goes beyond the popular tae bo workout by utilizing boxing gloves, focus mitt work and heavy bag work, as well as teaching proper boxing technique -- all done to music," Kain said. "It is a complete fitness program that incorporates interval aerobic, resistance and flexibility training."
Kain is offering the program at Triumph.
Next month, Triumph is offering two programs for children.
The Fitastik Kid program for 3- to 5-year-olds is held Fridays from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. The program is open to members for $2.50 and nonmembers for $5 by reservation only. The children participate in a variety of noncompetitive games and exercise.
A beginning jump rope class for children ages 5 through 12 is scheduled for 10: 30 a.m. to 11: 30 a.m. Aug. 9 through 13. The instructor is a 10-year veteran of Kangaroo Kids.
Glenelg High honors
Glenelg High School graduated several seniors this year who received recognition from the Maryland Distinguished Scholar Program, Academic Achievement category.
Sarah Placella was a finalist and received a four-year scholarship.
Semifinalists were Lynsey Caldwell and Monica D'Angelo.