Rim Country children can head to Alaska, explore the Arctic with sled dogs, find the power of Biblical heroes and hunt for treasure at a variety of Vacation Bible Schools hosted by area churches this summer.
All VBSs include rotating children by age groups through games, crafts, snacks, singing and the study of Bible stories.
Registration can be made at the door, but calling ahead is appreciated.
"Vacation Bible school provides a safe fun environment for children to learn about God's love for them and how church members care for them," said Brad Boldt, Christian education director at Payson First United Methodist church.
For the past six years, the Methodist church, Mt. Cross Lutheran and Community Presbyterian churches have come together to host VBS. This year, members of St. Paul's Episcopal Church are also sponsoring.
The ecumenical VBS takes place this year at Mt. Cross.
"We're ready for 90 to 100 kids," Boldt said.
In addition to adult volunteers, middle and high school students will also be on hand to help with the cooperative VBS, bringing the volunteer count to 30 or 40, estimated Boldt.
"At the end of the day we take prayer requests from kids and they can express some pretty moving, heavy duty stuff," Boldt said. He alerts parents when he sees a need.
The ecumenical VBS encourages children to donate loose change for The Heifer Project.
"It's an international organization that provides farm animals to underprivileged communities in the U.S. and the world," Boldt said.
On the last day of VBS, children get to vote on whether they would like to spend the collected funds on -- a cow, a goat or chickens.
Two years ago, the children raised $600 and were able to purchase several animals.
The $15 cost of the Treasure Seekers VBS includes a T-shirt and assists the churches in covering some of the costs. Single days cost $5 each. Scholarships are available.
"Adventures of the Treasure Seekers" happens from 1 to 4 p.m. June 12 through 16.
For more information, call the church office at 474-2552 or 474-3787.
Vacation Bible Schools
Payson Church of Christ
Theme: "Bound for the Arctic Challenge"
When: 9 to 11:30 a.m. June 19 - 23; Family finale on Friday, June 23 at 6:30 p.m.
Rock of Ages Lutheran
When: 9 to 11 a.m. June 19 -23
Ages: 3 through 14
Call: (928) 474-2098
Calvary Chapel, Payson
Theme: "Son Treasure Island"
When: 8 a.m. to noon June 26 - 30
Ages: 4 years old through sixth grade.
Call: (928) 468-0801
First Church of the Nazarene
Theme: "Heroes of the Bible"
When: 1 to 4 p.m. June 26 -30
Ages: 4 years old to sixth grade.
Cost: Free, but donations welcome.
Call: (928) 474-5890
First Southern Baptist
Theme: "Arctic Edge: Where Adventure Meets Courage"
When: 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. July 17 - 21
Call: (928) 474-3374
Tonto Bible Church, Gisela
When: 9 to 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 13, and Thursday, June 15
Ages: All ages are welcome.
Call: (928) 468-2122
Christopher Creek Bible Fellowship, Christopher Creek
Theme: "Set Sail: Spread the Good News!"
When: TBA, July 10 -14
Shepherd of the Pines Lutheran Church, Payson
Theme: "Summer Saturday with Jesus"
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 5; registration at 9:30 a.m.
Where: Rumsey Park
Ages: 3 years old through fifth grade