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Joan Anderson from Ascension, Genie Hanson as leader from Central Freeborn, Rebecca Passer from Grace, Christine Ness from Salem, Annette Hansen from Trinity were the church adult representatives responsible for tying everything together for a successful Vacation Bible School. (Tie it all together they did, even with a pink bow.)

They made signs and had literature at the above five Lutheran churches reading: “Vacation Bible School June 19-22 at Edgewater Park in Albert Lea 9 a.m.-2 p.m. for grades 1-6, 9 a.m.-12 noon for pre-school. No cost.”

In invisible ink each sign read: “It takes a village to teach a child.”

The word was put out that the gala event would kick off at 5 p.m. Sunday, June 18 with pizza and root beer floats. Vacation Bible School attendees could bring anyone—especially dads, as it was Father’s Day. The Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp teachers for grades 1-6 attended the gala pizza party leading in the table grace plus introducing themselves.

Mady Bixby, Claire Garrison, Zach Valen, Andrew Zagar, Megan Johnson, Jori Steenhoek, and Jocelyn Gibler were the team, with Jocelyn as the leader. “It takes a village to teach a child” was understood but not spoken by the team.

Other helpers were Christie from Salem and Laurie from Trinity teaching pre-schoolers. Alissa, Kesi, Lorrie, Marlene, Michele, a mommy with her three-year-old boy, three young ladies, Bob Hanson as “go-fer” plus many others all involved in helping (64 in grades 1-6 plus 22 pre-schoolers) in “it takes a village to teach a child.”

The Okoboji team was housed at Central Freeborn Lutheran Church, rural Albert Lea. The team was picked up at 6 p.m. by another team, Buster and Sadie (two draft horses), pulling a wagon driven by Gene Wangen to the Diane and Gene Wangen cabin in their woods for a brat cookout on Monday evening. On Tuesday evening, the team was treated to an outdoor barbecue in Owatonna by Zach’s parents. On Wednesday evening the team was treated to a sweet corn in the husk roast at the Phil Morreim residence. The sweet-tooth goodies were furnished by Eunice Bakken, with Gale Nelson providing the watermelon. Once again the purpose of Vacation Bible School, “It takes a village to teach a child,” was understood all three evenings.

Thursday was the day of many changes as thunder, lightning and rain were the order of the day beginning about 10 a.m. Because of the weather, the potluck supper and program following was moved to Trinity Lutheran Church. T’was then we saw the results of “it takes a village to teach a child.”

P.S. If you were involved in any way, as a park and rec employee, helped, gave supplies, brought food, drove a vehicle with a VBS bumper sticker, whatever, go look at yourself in a mirror eye-to-eye as you say, “Ain’t I good?”

P.P.S. As part of VBS items were collected for the Humane Society and Undies for Children at Victims Crisis Center.


Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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