Vacation Bible School at Holy Cross, Castro Valley

What has 113 campers, 84 teen and adult staff, 20 crafts, 4 snacks and a lunch that have been described as edible art and months of intensive preparation? A Vacation Bible School at Holy Cross, Castro Valley!

Mark Spaulding, the rector, uses a Biblically proven method of presenting the Gospel to the campers; make the message relevant to the present day experiences of the participants. Jesus’ parables used mustard seeds, lost sheep and agrarian settings to speak to his audience while we use modern-day films and stories to focus young minds on timeless Christian truths. Viewed through a Christian prism, this year's story — Zootopia — addresses redemption, inclusiveness and diversity. And it does so in ways that even a 3 year-old can understand.

Designing sets and decorations that bring the story to life is a parish-wide effort, involving hundreds of volunteer hours spent crafting wood and cardboard, mushing toilet paper to create tubs of paper-mache, painting, prepping crafts and cooking. All of this creativity springs from the mind of Eli Spaulding who possesses the ability to look at a piece of brown wrapping paper and envision a forest. But this focus on creating a magical experience for the campers has a secondary benefit of creating a spirit amongst parishioners that helps define our community.

   

Themed snacks and decorations

And next year? Already underway — something about a beauty and a beast.