Several area churches have planned summer programs to entertain children during their break from school.

Harker Heights United Methodist Church takes its vacation Bible school out of the classroom this summer.

The free program will feature a unique “Mega Sports Camp” from 6 to 7:45 p.m. Monday-Friday at Carl Levin Park in Harker Heights.

Children’s Ministry Director Mandy Manalang said she and another director came up with the idea for a sports camp as a way to encourage Bible studies through sports education.

“Most vacation Bible schools are along the same lines of class and do a lot of storytelling, so we wanted a different approach to teaching kids about the Bible with something they would want to do anyway, like sports,” she said.

Manalang said the one-week program includes daily games, Bible stories, singing and snacks.

“There’s no pencils or paper, just fun ways to learn and play outdoors. It’s a different way to engage the kids.”

Classes are open to all children from preschool to sixth grade.

“Along with playing the sport, they will also get a lesson about sportsmanship,” Manalang said. “Telling the truth and playing fair are some of the points we will touch on during the week.”

The church’s youth group, Rising Disciples, and other volunteers will help lead the children in different sports activities while upholding their Christian values, Manalang said.

Parents can bring registration forms to Carl Levin Park at 400 Miller’s Crossing starting Monday at 5:30 p.m., and every night before the start of class. To register or for more information, email Manalang at or call the church at (254) 699-6271.

Grace Baptist Church

Grace Baptist Church in Salado, will offer a world missions-themed program called “Kids of Courage” from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. July 21-24.

“Real kids in foreign countries such as Nigeria, North Korea, India and others will be featured,” said Cheryl Ely, director of child ministries, Kids who have completed kindergarten through sixth grade are invited to attend.

Pastor Steve Waechter and his congregation will lead songs, craft projects, Bible lessons and more.

Grace Baptist is at 5798 Farm-to-Market 2484, Salado. For more information, call (254) 947-5917.

Crossroads Church

Crossroads Church in Belton will have a kids camp from 6:30 to 8 p.m. July 24-26. Ben Harper, children’s pastor, said the art-themed camp, called “Splash,” will feature a waterslide, paint wars with powdered paint and snow cones.

The camp will be at the church’s student center, 500 N. Interstate 35 Frontage Road, Belton. For more information, call (254) 939-2122.

Northside Baptist Church

Northside Baptist Church in Nolanville will have its annual vacation Bible school for kids ages 5-12 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. June 17-21.

This year’s theme is “Finding the King of the Jungle” and includes live reptiles, a presentation by a wildlife expert, skits, crafts, stories and refreshments.

The church is at 1800 U.S. Highway 190, Nolanville. For more information, call (254) 690-6722.

Herald/Sandra Duffy Oliver

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