Bible stories are not just for Sundays in the Rim Country.
A number of local churches are offering free Vacation Bible Schools to any local children who wish to attend. Some churches have planned their own event, while other churches have joined together as part of an ecumenical project between several churches.
In addition to Bible stories and lessons, VBS may include crafts, games, singing and snacks.
Listed in chronological order:
When: 1 to 4 p.m., June 4-8
Theme: Lady Victory and the Conquering Knight will lead children ages first through sixth grades on a quest to discover the armor of God.
Where: First Church of the Nazarene, 200 E. Tyler Parkway, Payson.
Call: (928) 474-5890
When: 12:30 to 3 p.m., June 11-15
Theme: How rescue workers in the community like police officers and firefighters save us from danger, just like God saves His people.
Where: Pine Strawberry Elementary School, sponsored by Chapel and the Church on Randall Place
Age: Pre-school through fifth grade
Call: First Baptist Church of Pine, (928) 476-3552.
Take the Plunge: Make a Splash with Jesus
When: 8 a.m. to noon, June 18-22
Theme: Life, like a water park ride, has its twists and turns, but unlike a water park ride, in life human beings can make choices.
Age: From potty-trained to age 13.
Where: Calvary Chapel, 1103 N. Beeline Highway in Payson
Call: (928) 468-0801.
Enrollment is limited, pre-registration is required.
When: 5 to 8 p.m., June 25-29
Age: Kindergartners through eighth-graders
Where: Tonto Basin Bible Church, Hwy. 188 off Dryer Dr., Tonto Basin
Call: (928) 479-2299.
When: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., July 9-13
Age: 3 years old through elementary school
Theme: The adventure-themed VBS will have a special film on creation.
Where: Chapel in Tonto Village on the Control Road, one mile north of Highway 260
Call: Rita Spalink at (928) 478-4282
Bridge to Terabithia
When: 1 to 4 p.m., July 16-20
Age: Kindergarten through fifth grade
Where: Payson United Methodist Church, 414 N. Easy St. in Payson, sponsored by Payson Community Presbyterian Church, Mt. Cross Lutheran Church, St. Paul's Episcopal Church and Payson United Methodist Church
Theme: Bridge to Terabithia is a story of friendship and the Bible stories told at this VBS will relate to friendship.
Call: (928) 474-0485.
Game Day Central: Where Heroes are Made
When: 6 to 8 p.m., July 16-20
Age: 3 through adult
Where: First Southern Baptist Church, corner of Bonita Street and Colcord Road
Theme: Hebrews 12: 1-2. Each day will have a different lesson: Obedience, John the Baptist, following God's plan, doing what Christ tells us and learning how to tell others about Christ.
Call: (928) 474-3374.
Other summer youth programs:
Payson First Baptist Church on Main Street is hosting a backyard Bible club.
Families in the church volunteer their yards for children to listen to Bible stories, some enacted by puppets and make crafts. Once they know whose yard it will be in, they will hand out fliers in the neighborhood, so other interested children can attend, said pastor Anthony Garrisi.
Payson First Baptist Church plans to hold three week-long backyard Bible clubs over the summer.
The first will be held in Payson, June 11-15.
Contact Garrisi for information at 303 W. Main St. or call (928) 474-3530.
Mountain Bible Church has activity nights for teens this summer. High school students gather at the church on Tuesday evenings and junior high students gather at the church on Wednesday evenings.
Stop by the church at 302 E. Rancho Road or call (928) 472-7800.
On Saturday nights, from 5 to 7 p.m., middle school-aged teens meet at Ponderosa Baptist Church, 1800 N. Beeline Highway.
The church hosts Bible study, games and sometimes goes to the Valley for an activity.
"We have transportation, if someone needs a ride," said pastor Allen Mann.
Call (928) 474-9279.